London: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf UK organised a successful and peaceful demonstration in British Capital London while Pakistani political party headed by Imran Khan was blocking NATO supply line in Peshawar to protest against drone attacks. PTI UK members chanted ‘No More Drones, No More Drones’ – demanding immediate end to US drone attacks in Pakistan.
The procession started from UK’s Prime Minster office at 10 Downing Street around 1pm and, ended with a massive protest outside US embassy in London. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) members from across UK were mobilised to participate in this anti-drones march initiated by London region headed by Shahbaz Khan. PTI’s anti-drones march attracted support from organisations such as ‘Stop the War Coalition’ and ‘Drone Wars’ besides student unions from various universities in the UK.
PTI UK’s regional presidents including Shahbaz Khan, Sabreena Razzaq, M Ameen, Riaz Hassan, Asim Basraa and Zahid Parvez submitted a petition to the office of Britain’s Prime Minster demanding an immediate end to drone attacks in Pakistan and, stop any technical or intelligence assistance provided to United States which is used for unlawful killings and sabotaging peace process in the country.
President PTI London, Shahbaz Khan, said, “We will explore every avenue within the legal framework to oppose these drone attacks and help bring peace in Pakistan – we are marching to bring awareness regarding the atrocities committed through these drones; have submitted petitions to PM’s office and US embassy; distributed literature in public to bring awareness regarding drones and trying to get the issue debated in UK parliament after getting 100k signatures on petition submitted on government’s website.”
He further said, “By using drones, US is setting a precedent for other world powers to strike on any sovereign country around the globe on basis of suspected threat from non-combatants – disregarding all international laws and human rights. This will further militancy and, more innocent lives will be wasted causing further destruction.”
PTI Presidents including Amjad Khan, Amir Chisti, Saeed Hashami and Aslam Bhutta stressed that drones are not only violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty, they are also major hurdle on the way to peace & stability within the country – they cause deaths of innocent civilians which lead to more anger; resentment and strengthen the militants by producing more members & supporters for them and, ultimately sabotaging any efforts to bring peace. PTI demanded from US to immediately halt drone strikes which result in deaths of innocent civilians and extra judicial killings of suspected militants.
Chris Nineham, convenor of ‘Stop the War Coalition’ (Britain’s biggest anti war group), Chris Cole, anti drones campaigner and representative of ‘Drone Wars’ and Yvonne Ridley, a renowned journalist and expert on conflicts around the globe also spoke on the occasion and echoed PTI’s stance regarding drones to bring an immediate end to US drone attacks in Pakistan.
Imran Khan, Chairman of PTI, has been very vocal regarding his opposition of drone attacks in Pakistan since they first started in 2004. He is one the main critics of American ‘War on Terror’ and a staunch supporter of dialogue with militants in order to bring peace with troubled region of Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA)of Pakistan. His party members in UK vow to continue their peaceful struggle against unlawful killings through drone attacks.