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Shoes and protests mark end of Zardari visit

world Updated: Aug 08, 2010 23:11 IST

PTI
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Instead of cheers, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari was greeted with shoes and shouts of “Mr 10 per cent” during a rally of the Pakistan People’s Party in Birmingham.

However, Zardari’s aides insisted that no such incident had occurred during his visit to Britain.

Geo News channel and newspapers of the Jang media group reported that a 60-year-old man named Shamim Khan threw the shoes at Zardari on Friday in protest against the President’s meeting with Prime Minister British David Cameron.

The shoes failed to hit Zardari and the protester was escorted out of the venue, where the President was addressing a Pakistan People's Party (PPP) convention, by security guards, the reports said.

Cameron had triggered a storm in Pakistan by saying Pakistan had links with groups that promoted export of terror to Afghanistan and India.

Compelled by prospects of renewed fury back home if Bilawal Bhutto’s political career was launched in Birmingham amid unprecedented floods, the plan was dropped even though placards at the Birmingham venue sought to welcome the 21-year-old.

Outside the venue, protesters shouted slogans and displayed placards saying “Save Pakistan, oust Zardari”.

Bilawal, who sought to rubbish reports that he would address the Birmingham rally, confined himself to London where he launched a flood relief donation centre at the Pakistan high commission.