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November 20, 2018

CJ to address fund-raising events in UK cities

National

November 20, 2018

LONDON: Pakistan High Commission has not yet finalised security plan for Honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan who is set to arrive in Britain for a week to take part in several fund raising events for Diamar Bhasha and Mohmand dams – in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

A source at Pakistan High Commission said it was aware that some groups were planning to hold protests mainly in London but no plan has been finalised around the security of the chief justice. When asked what was the reason for that, the source said that Pakistan High Commission was aware of the planned visit of the Chief Justice but no request for the security arrangement has yet been made by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Scotland Yard has confirmed that at least two groups have informed the police that they will be holding peaceful protests during the fund raising events.

There are reports that some groups are planning to stage protests outside the venues where the Chief Justice will be speaking to audience for the fund raising events for which tickets are being sold by the organisers. Around eight events have been organised so far to raise funds and organisers have confirmed that venues were booked after getting permission and agreement from the office of the Chief Justice.

After social media reports were circulated about the protests, Pakistan Muslim League (UK) issued a statement distancing itself from any kind of protests and urged its supporters not to become part of anything which is against the policy.

Zubair Gull, PMLN’s President in UK, said in a statement that the PMLN-UK has played a vital role to restore democracy from 1999 to 2008 Martial Law in Pakistan and contributed significantly to the restoration movement of the judiciary.

Zubair Gull said: “PMLN UK is not planning to stage a protest during the upcoming visit of Chief Justice of Pakistan to the United Kingdom. We have given clear instructions to all our office bearers and workers to avoid giving any political statement or to protest against Chief Justice of Pakistan visit in the United Kingdom. We respect judiciary in Pakistan and we hope their decisions will be based according to the constitution of Pakistan.”

Nasir Butt, PMLN’s Senior Vice President in UK, stressed on Monday that PMLN’s leadership in Pakistan had issued instructions to all its workers and sympathsiers in the UK to stay away from protests and not become part of anything which is aimed at sabotage. “We have instructions right form the top to stay away from protests or any kind of activity that’s against the fundraisers. Many of our leading members are involved in arranging fundraisers for the dams which is a national cause,” he said.

One of the organisers of a fundraiser in London told The News that he had hired private security for the chief justice for the duration of the event at a west London hotel. Mohammd Shafeeque, of Allied Law Chambers, said he was in touch with the police about his event. “We will have our security managing the event and we are in touch with the Scotland Yard. We are aware that a protest has been planned on the day but we will make sure that everything runs smoothly. We will be raising money for the dam which is a national cause,” Shafeeque said.

The fund raising in Manchester have been organised by Aneel Musarrat, PTI leader and Imran Khan’s advisor on 5 million housing project, the World Congress of Overseas Pakistanis (WCOP), Imran Khan Lovers (UK & Europe), Allied Law Chambers, UK Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industries (UKPCCI). The CJP will be attending his son’s graduation ceremony soon at the Lincoln’s Inn and will address a seminar on the evening of 21st November. Organiser of the seminar Dr Tariq Mahmoud, who was pictured last week with the CJP in Islamabad. He told The News that that the CJP will be speaking on “the future of arbitration in Pakistan” at the Gray’s. The International Lawyers Cub (UK) said in a statement on Monday that the CJP will be addressing a press conference before his lecture at the Gray’s Inn.

The first major event of fund raising will be in London on 22nd of November. Organsied by a group calling itself the “Centre for Policy Dimensions”. The group has given its own account details on posters to collect funds but Mohammad Shafeeque clarified that only income from the ticket sale will be taken in the bank account while bank statements will be shown and whatever is collected will be deposited in the dam account. The second biggest event will be held in Manchester on November 23 by Aneel Musarrat. A post released by “Imran Khan Lovers UK & Europe” said that it will be holding an event on the evening of 25 November. The UKPCCI has invited around 1,000 guests on Monday 25th November evening at the Inter Continental Hotel on Park Lane. The WCOP’s Naheed Randhawa said that invitations have been issued to over 100 businessmen to attend the event he will be organizing on 26th of November.

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