Tatchell amubshes Pakistani President’s motorcade
Human rights activist Peter Tatchell has taken direct action against the President of Pakistan by running in front of his car in a London street.
He was protesting against President Musharraf’s actions against civilians in occupied Baluchistan region.
The Presidential motorcade was nearing the Park Lane hotel in London on Friday night, where General Musharraf was due to speak.
“To avert police attention, I stood inconspicuously at a bus stop reading a newspaper, waiting for Musharraf’s motorcade to arrive,” recalled Mr Tatchell.
“When the police motorcycle escorts drew level, I ran out into Park Lane and straight in front of the President’s car. It screeched to a halt.
“I unfurled a placard protesting against Musharraf’s massacre of civilians in occupied Baluchistan. The placard read:
“Stop Pakistan Massacre of Baluch people.”
“Musharraf could clearly see the placard. He did not look pleased.
“His driver tried to back up and drive around me, but I ran in front of the limousine again, forcing it to halt once more.
“I could see Musharraf shouting something at his driver. Perhaps he feared that I was an assassin or a suicide bomber.
“The limo reversed again and tried to swerve past me. I blocked it for the third time.
“Musharraf and his colleagues look very agitated.
“Eventually, police motorcycle escorts ran over and dragged me away from the bonnet of Musharraf’s vehicle.
“They pulled me across the road to the central reservation in Park Lane, where I was pinned against the railing.
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“Shortly afterwards, the police let me go and I joined the main anti-Musharraf demonstration outside the Hilton Hotel, organised by lawyers protesting against the arrest of fellow lawyers and supreme court judges in Pakistan.”
President Musharraf has been the target of several assassination attempts in Pakistan.
The country is due to hold elections on 18th February, the first step in restoring democracy.
President Musharraf seized power in a military coup in 1999.
“It is shameful that the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, is entertaining Musharraf at Downing Street today,” said Mr Tatchell.
“He is siding with a dictator against the people of Pakistan.”