The Million March rally in London turned out to be a failure for Pakistan's People's Party chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who was booed and attacked with plastic bottles, eggs and tomatoes by the crowd as soon as he stepped on to the stage to address the protest rally.
"This march was about Kashmir and the welfare of Kashmiris. Bilawal had no business being here," PTI quoted a group of angry protesters who had travelled from Derby in the East Midlands region of England.
The rally was organised by a UK-based Pakistan group and included Bhutto, his sister Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, and social, religious and political parties, in a bid to attract international attention on the Kashmir issue.
"We have gathered here to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir and to divert the attention of the international community towards the Kashmir issue. This struggle will continue till Kashmir is declared independent, in accordance with the UN resolutions," The News International quoted former Azad Kashmir (AJK) prime minister Barrister Sultan Mehmood, who led the protest.
However, the rally that started at London's Trafalgar Square and ended at Downing Street, turned out to be a failure as only a few hundred protestors gathered for the "Million March" against the estimated one lakh supporters.
The rally proved to be most embarrassing for Bilawal, as he was apparently ousted from the "Million March" by the crowd. Despite the attacks and protests against his participation in the rally, Bilawal made his speech before being escorted out by the police from the makeshift stage in Trafalgar Square.
"These agents, who are trying to damage the cause of Kashmir and intimidate me into leaving, should know that I will not leave before completing my speech. This is not about me or you; this is about the people of Kashmir," he said.
Mehmood and Bilawal's sister Aseefa blamed India for disrupting his speech and sabotaging the rally. "Indian agents tried to stop my brother from speaking but Alhamdulillah they did not succeed. He completed his speech & Alhamdulillah he is safe," Aseefa wrote on a micro-blogging website.