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Friday March 01, 2024

PTI, PMLN face off in London after Imran Khan’s removal

Outside the residence of Nawaz Sharif’s sons, supporters from both sides faced off each other during a charged protest which lasted for over three hours

April 11, 2022
Supporters of PML-N and PTI come face to face in London outside Park Lane flats. -Photo by author
Supporters of PML-N and PTI come face to face in London outside Park Lane flats. -Photo by author

LONDON: Supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) confronted each other during a rowdy demonstration outside Avenfield apartments.

On instructions of PTI Pakistan and former prime minister Imran Khan, PTI UK’s leadership had announced that a protest will be held at Hyde Park Corner which will then march towards the American Embassy but the organisers decided not to go to the US Embassy and instead assembled out Avenfield flats first and then moved from there to Pakistan High Commission.

PTI’s supporters came from all over the UK and gathered in Hyde Park where emotional speeches were made for about two hours. The protestors then moved to Avenfield flats – located just five minutes away – where supporters of PMLN had already gathered to celebrate the possible election of Shehbaz Sharif as the next prime minister of Pakistan and the ouster of Imran Khan.

Outside the residence of Nawaz Sharif’s sons Hasan and Hussain Nawaz, supporters from both sides faced off each other during a charged protest which lasted for over three hours.

PTI’s protestors raised slogans to protest the ouster of Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan through a vote of no-confidence. PM Imran Khan was ousted on Saturday after he lost the vote of no-confidence in the event of defections by a large number of his allies and PTI’s own lawmakers. They were carrying banners showing support for Imran Khan and alleging that he has been removed through a “foreign conspiracy” – an unsubstantiated claim made by Imran Khan which has been denied by Pakistan’s top security sources as well as the Foreign Office of Pakistan.

Imran Khan’s supporters said that Imran Khan should have remained in power till 2028 and was only driven out by a "corrupt" and “sell out” political elite bending to pressure from the US government. They said that the US govt had conspired with Pakistan’s opposition parties as well as PTI’s own dissidents to remove Imran Khan from power. The protestors called Pakistan’s entire opposition and dissident PTI lawmakers as “traitors”.

PMLN workers had arranged a dhol since morning and the dholists played to the full capacity, drowning out slogans of PTI till the time the dholists had to leave.

Around 50 policemen remained on the scene throughout the protest. They separated two sides and didn’t let them come close to each other, restricting them to their columns on the street outside the Avenfield flats. PTI pelted eggs inside the PMLN crowd who responded by throwing bottles of water inside the PTI’s gathering.

PTI leaders didn’t explain why they decided not to go to the US Embassy for the protest as originally planned. PTI workers raised slogans of "Imported government not accepted”, No Imran, no remittances”, “traitors”, and “no to regime change,” while PMLN supporters responded with "losers, losers", “Aleema Baaji is a thief” and “arrest Farah Gogi”.