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Plane carrying anti-Pak banners fly over Headingley cricket ground in Leeds


ANI  |  Europe 

A plane flying with anti-Pakistan banners unfurled from it was spotted on Saturday over the Headingley cricket ground here where the Cup cricket match between Pakistan and Afghanistan was underway.

The plane unfurled banners in the sky bearing slogans 'Justice for Balochistan' and 'Help end enforced disappearances in Pakistan', written in big bold black and red letters as part of a campaign organised by Baloch activists to highlight the dire human rights violation in Pakistan.

"Baloch Republican Party and Baloch organisation's awareness campaign against enforced disappearances in Pakistan flying banners hovering over Headingley Stadium calling for #EndEnforcedDisappearances during #PAKvAFG cricket match," the Baloch Organisation tweeted.

In another tweet, it said: "The plane in its second run over #PAKvAFG #ICCWorldCup2019 match in Leeds, trailed a banner that read "Justice for #Balochistan", urging the Int'l community that the people of Balochistan demand justice for decades of atrocities by #Pakistani forces. #EndEnforcedDisappearances."

Following this, a scuffle broke out between Pakistan and Afghanistan fans outside the cricket stadium.

An ICC source told ANI that the "aircraft was an unauthorised" and said that Leeds air traffic will investigate the matter.

"A fight broke out between Pakistan and Afghanistan fans in Leeds after a plane was flown over the stadium which had Balochistan slogans. Apparently, it was an unauthorised plane that flew over the stadium and political messages were hung from the plane which were visible. Leeds air traffic will now investigate the matter," the ICC source said.

Human rights activists from the World Baloch Organisation and the Baloch Republican Party have been continuing their campaign to highlight the worsening human rights situation in Pakistan.

In their earlier initiative, roadside billboards were put up around the city of Birmingham with slogans "Help end enforced disappearances in Pakistan".

The billboards had gone up on major roads and junctions around the city including highways. This came after the city had hosted a World Cup match between Pakistan and New Zealand on June 26.

On June 23, Baloch Republican Party and World Baloch Organisation had organised a similar protest outside Lord's cricket stadium in London, where the protestors distributed leaflets to raise awareness about enforced disappearances of Baloch and other religious minorities in Pakistan, even as the match between Pakistan and South Africa was underway.

However, a group of Pakistani cricket fans tore down posters and banners put up by the Baloch activists.

The incident came even as Pakistan Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa was watching the match along with other officials in the stadium.

The angry fans had also shouted slogans -- "Long Live Pakistan Army".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Sat, June 29 2019. 18:59 IST