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Thursday Oct 15 2020

UK group cancels protest against Nawaz Sharif after PTI leader announces parallel event

PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif addressing a party worker's conference. — Geo News screengrab/Files

LONDON: Activist Tariq Mahmood has announced he is cancelling a planned demonstration outside Hasan Nawaz Sharif’s office opposite Hyde Park on October 16 because of a parallel demonstration organised by Prime Minister Imran Khan’s advisor and spokesman on UK and Europe Trade Sahibzada Jahangir.

Mahmood, who runs a group called the Pakistan Patriotic Front (PPF), had originally issued a call for a protest outside Hasan Nawaz’s office from where former premier Nawaz Sharif will make a speech to the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)'s Gujranwala rally on October 16.

Following Mahmood's announcement, PM Imran Khan’s advisor Jahangir had announced a separate protest outside Hasan Nawaz's house.

The photo shows the cancellation of the protest that was set to take place outside Hasan Nawaz's office. — Photo by author

In a widely circulated message, it had been announced that PM Imran Khan had directed Jahangir to organise a protest against Nawaz outside his flats on Dunraven Street, near Park Lane.

Later on, Jahangir had said that PM Imran Khan was not involved in any way and that he was organising the protest on a personal level.

Reacting to news of Jahangir's protest, Mahmood said on Thursday that he had decided to cancel his event in protest at what he described as "a photo session planned by a PTI group".

The PPF head said Jahangir should not have announced a separate event and that in any case, holding protests outside people’s homes is “morally wrong and I do not endorse it”.

“My protest was outside Hasan Nawaz’s office, not outside his house. A PTI group decided to hold the protest at the same time for media publicity and nothing else. I do not protest for media publicity and photo sessions. I will not hold protests outside the family homes of anyone,” Mahmood said.

Mahmood said it was wrong of a PTI group to "play politics over important issues" and "use such occasions for media publicity".

Meanwhile, PTI UK’s Information Secretary Taqveem Ahsan Siddiqi said that the PTI’s elected bodies are not aware of any planned protest and that Jahangir is organising one, he must be “doing it on his own”.