Sunday January 23, 2022

UK govt says it is addressing Pakistan High Commission's complaints after Afghan vandalism

Last week, Afghan protestors threw water bottles and stones at the Pakistan High Commission's building

June 02, 2021
Afghan nationals protesting outside the Pakistan High Commission in London. Photo: Author

The UK government said Wednesday it is looking into concerns raised by the Pakistan High Commission against Afghan protestors who attacked the commission's office last week. 

A group of Afghan protestors had thrown water bottles and stones at the commission's building, prompting them to complain to authorities.

Speaking to The News and Geo, a police spokesman said: “We are in touch with the embassy and addressing their concerns directly. We would not discuss matters of operational security with those outside of the diplomatic mission.”

Separately, a British government source has confirmed that it received a complaint from the Pakistan High Commission detailing the events of May 23.

A large group of people carrying Afghanistan flags and shouting anti-Pakistan slogans, had assembled outside the Pakistan High Commission in Knightsbridge and also outside the Kuwait embassy – denouncing the Afghan peace process.

Footage from the day shows several protestors throwing objects at Pakistan High Commission’s premises, located in the Lowndes Square.

The government spokesperson, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Geo News that the security of the Pakistani diplomatic missions in the UK is of paramount importance for the UK authorities.

The News had sent questions to the Scotland Yard, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and 10 Downing Street about the incident that left Pakistani diplomats shaken.

The government spokesman said it is in touch with the Metropolitan Police Service about the High Commission's concerns.

The Pakistan High Commission shared video footage of the damage with the UK authorities, requesting security arrangements similar to the ones granted to Israeli and Indian embassies in London. These two embassies are often visited by protestors and rights activists group for demonstrations.

The protest had been arranged by a group called “The Watan”, which shares the postal address with Afghan embassy in London, at 31 Princes Gate, SW7.

The Watan group’s spokesman had confirmed that it was responsible for organising the protest and has confirmed that a small group created a law and order situation by throwing water bottles at the Pakistan High Commission towards the end of the protest.

After being highlighted in media reports, The Watan group had removed Afghanistan emabssy’s address from its official Facebook page.