Islamabad: The Pakistan High Commission has already expressed its concern over the unfortunate incidents of rioting in London and other cities of UK since last Saturday. Not only scores of properties were destroyed as a result of these riots, a number of innocent people were injured and killed due to vandalism at the hands of unscrupulous elements, says a press release received from London here today.
My sole idea to hold this press conference emanates from the fact that I want to give a message to Pakistani Diaspora to remain calm and don’t be misled by those who might be making attempts to create rift among various communities. It is also to express solidarity with the British authorities and assure them of all our co-operation.
We have reports that in many incidents, Pakistani community members have been targeted by rioters; their properties were looted and later set on fire. Some were bodily harmed, including a staff member of the High Commission.
I had appealed to the Pakistani community yesterday to maintain calm and vigilance and extend their full cooperation to the British authorities.
I urge the Pakistan community to immediately report any untoward incident to the Police and also inform the High Commission so that a close liaison could be made with the British authorities to overcome the situation.
As of now, three British Pakistanis were killed in Birmingham in the early hours this morning reportedly when a speedy car overran them while they were guarding their properties against vandalism.
The three killed in Birmingham are Mussawar, Shahzad and Haroon. Mussawar and Shahzad are brothers. Pakistan High Commission in London is in constant touch with its Consuls General in Birmingham, Bradford, Manchester and Glasgow and also community leaders. Our Consul General in Birmingham visited the bereaved families and offered condolences on our behalf.
Similarly a mosque was attacked and set on fire in Birmingham but put out immediately with the timely intervention of fire tenders. On the request of the Pakistani community Police have been deployed to protect the Mosque. Similar measures have been requested by the community elsewhere in the city.
We are aware that some mischievous elements are trying to drag the Pakistani community into these riots. However, I would appeal to the Pakistani community to maintain calm and vigilance and extend their full cooperation to the British authorities.
I have informed the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) about our concerns and have also assured our full cooperation to the British Government in bringing the situation to normalcy.
I also avail this opportunity to call upon all Pakistanis visiting the UK to register their presence with the High Commission in London or nearby Consulates General in Birmingham, Bradford, Manchester or Glasgow. They are also advised not to visit those areas which are declared sensitive by the British authorities.
The High Commission and Consulates General in UK are vigilant to the situation and would be ready to render any assistance to the Pakistani community. The community can report about any incident on Pakistan High Commission’s website www.phclondon.org where a provision has been made for registering any untoward incident concerning the community.
For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326