LONDON, Nov 18: About 500 protesters led by Jemima Khan of the Free Pakistan Movement, Hina Jilani of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and George Galloway, the rebel Labour MP, held a demonstration in front of the Pakistan High Commission on Sunday to protest against “Musharraf’s second Marital Law”.
The protesters included students, lawyers, civil society representatives and workers of Imran Khan’s Tehrik-i-Insaaf.
The leaders and workers of the PML-N and PPP were conspicuous by their absence.
Talking to the media, Jemima Khan said: “I personally feel it is now time for Musharraf to go.”
Asked if she had any plans to go to Pakistan, Ms Jemima answered in the negative.
When told Gen Musharraf had announced elections, she said: “What kind of elections will you have under these circumstances.”
Mr Galloway in his speech said he had received two highest civil awards of Pakistan -- Hilal-i-Pakistan and Hilal-i-Quaid-i-Azam -- but “shame on the government represented by the high commission and shame on the British government which has supported in every conceivable way the brutal dictatorship of General Musharraf.”
He paid tributes to what he called the heroic journalists, broadcasters, lawyers and civil society members “who are carrying out this historic revolution.”
Ms Jillani said Pakistan needed a “military that is a source of strength for Pakistanis, not a source of humiliation.”
“We want to tell Musharraf that he has committed treason twice and we will make an example of those who think they have immunity from law. Everyone inside and outside Pakistan wants Musharraf to go.”
Later, Ms Jemima and Ms
Jilani handed over a petition to an official of the high commission.
The petition called for the immediate lifting of the emergency rule, release of political prisoners, restoration of judiciary to its Nov 2 position, lifting of curbs on the media and holding of free and fair elections.
During the two-hour long rally, the participants kept raising full throated slogans against the government and repeatedly chanted ‘go Musharraf, go’.