LONDON: Former federal minister and PML-N leader Abid Sher Ali was forced to leave the stage at an awards ceremony here after PTI workers and office-bearers protested here in west London on Saturday night.
The 17th Pakistan Community Achievement Award was being bestowed upon the people who have achieved extraordinary successes in their relevant fields. He was a guest among the other participating dignitaries in the event.
As soon as Ali was called on the stage to distribute the award to a member of Pakistani business community, PTI workers — including Zahid Raja, Zahida Noori, Zainab Raja, Anwar Saeed, and Muhammad Tanveer — started chanting slogans.
The protesters demanded him to leave the stage but he carried on. However, the trouble started after Rehman walked on the stage and refused to take award. That encouraged other PTI workers in the hall to raise slogans and join in.
Award show organiser Asif Saleem Mitha told the audience that the PML-N leader was his guest and had a right to participate like others. He handed over the mic to Ali, who delivered the speech throughout a noisy atmosphere.
Ali said it was unfortunate that PTI had turned a non-political event into political. He said that PTI workers were showing the training they had received from their leadership. After completing his speech, he left the stage while chanting the slogan “Nawaz Sharif Zindabad” and left the ceremony after an hour.
Speaking to this correspondent, the PML-N leader said he was not forced to leave the stage. He said: “The news items are circulating in media in this regard are not based on reality. We should promote the cause of Pakistan out of Pakistan. We shouldn’t set bad examples for the young generation.
Muhammad Tanveer, who raised slogans in front of the stage, said he was a supporter of PTI and he protested because PML-N leaders have been involved in mismanagement of Pakistan.
He said Ali should not have been called to the stage to make a political speech.