• Short Summary

    About 15,000 Pakistanis from all parts of Britain marched yesterday (August 15th) from London's hyde Park to Trafalgar Square in support of a united Pakistan.

  • Description

    About 15,000 Pakistanis from all parts of Britain marched yesterday (August 15th) from London's hyde Park to Trafalgar Square in support of a united Pakistan.

    The marchers massed at the Park's Speaker's Corner before setting off on what was intended as both a counter-demonstration to the Bangla Desh supporters show of strength in Trafalgar Square two weeks earlier - and a celebration of Pakistan's independence day.

    The march was organised by the Pakistan Solidarity Front, which has an office in East London. The Pakistan High Commission distributed leaflets denying reported genocide in East Pakistan, and marchers carried placards protesting against outside interference in the nation's affairs.

    A message from the Pakistan ruler Yahya Khan was heard in silence - but the demonstrators were voluble in their denunciation of the Bangla Desh breakaway movement.

    SYNOPSIS: In London's Hyde Park, thousands of Pakistanis from all over Britain assembled on Sunday at the world famous Speaker's Corner. They were preparing to march to Trafalgar Square in support of a United Pakistan and to celebrate 24 years of the country's independence. The rally was organised by the Pakistan Solidarity Front which has its head office in East London - but Birmingham alone sent 100 coach-loads of demonstrators.

    Marchers carried banners protesting against outside interference in Pakistan's affairs and condemning the breakaway Bangla Desh movement. Portraits of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, founder leader of Pakistan were everywhere. They shouted "Long Live Jinnah" 23 years after his death.

    Handbills also proliferated. The Pakistan High Commission distributed leaflets defining genocide - and denying its use by government troops in East Bengal. A specially written text by pakistani ruler Yahya Khan was handed out while other pamphlets answered questions on the East Pakistan crisis.

    As the demonstrators moved through London's busy West End, traffic in Oxford Street, Regent Street and Picadilly was paralysed for over two hours. The march was peaceful - but accompanied by chanting, dancing and beating of the breasts in the fashion of Moslem mourning. The marchers shouted slogans against Bangla Desh followers, the Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, the BBC and the British Labour Party. But, among the Punjabi workers contingent, sympathy with the east Pakistanis was reportedly also noticeable.

    The rally was also intended as a counter-demonstration to the display of strength by Bangla Desh supporters in Trafalgar Square two weeks earlier. When the head of the procession reached the square ten-abreast, the tail has still not left Hyde Park.

    But about 15,000 pro-Pakistani supporters gathered round the fountains. Mr. Mohammed Abul Hayat who founded the Pakistani Solidarity Front last April shouted: "Pakistani's unity is indivisible. And the crowd responded in kind to Mr. Hayat-himself a Bengali from East Pakistan. Other banners showed less sympathy for another East Pakistani - Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, imprisoned leader of the Bangla Desh movement. "Hang the Traitor" they demand. The speeches - in both Urdu and English were read out without much incident - except when a young woman supporter of an independent Pakistan threw a bag of eggs at a speaker. She missed and police ushered her away."

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVABVOZ65VBZG1QN717JGE6BAEK4
    Media URN:
    VLVABVOZ65VBZG1QN717JGE6BAEK4
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    16/08/1971
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:04:57:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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