London takes down anti-Pakistan ads from buses

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— Transport for London apologises over ad campaign

Transport authorities in London issued instructions on Wednesday to remove “Free Balochistan” advertisements from more than 100 buses on the ground that they did not comply with guidelines.

Earlier, similar advertisements appeared on London taxis and billboards, which were later taken down by the authorities following complaints through diplomatic channels in Islamabad and London.

The buses with the advertisements have been crisscrossing the capital for more than a week.

A spokesman for Transport for London (TfL), which runs the capital’s transport network said, “This advert does not comply with our advertising guidelines. It was accepted in error by our advertising partner and was not referred to us for our consideration. We have instructed that all such adverts must be removed immediately.”

On Nov 3, the Pakistani High Commission had taken up the issue with Transport for London (TfL) after a few iconic cabs were spotted carrying ‘Free Balochistan’ slogans in parts of Zone 1 & 2 in Central London, while Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua had summoned British High Commissioner Thomas Drew at the Foreign Office to convey Islamabad’s concern over the slogans seen on some cabs in London.

Drew was told that the propaganda against Pakistan’s territorial sovereignty would not be tolerated. The issue was raised with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office by Pakistan’s High Commissioner to England Syed Ibne Abbas as well.

The London campaign was similar to the one conducted in Geneva last month by an outfit called ‘Baluchistan House’ which ran an expensive campaign across the transport networks of the city.

Transport for London had ordered the removal of the offensive ads from London cabs immediately after the matter was brought to their notice.

‘UK FULLY RESPECTS SOVEREIGNTY, TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY OF PAKISTAN’: The United Kingdom fully respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan, of which Balochistan is and will continue to be an integral part, said British High Commissioner Thomas Drew responding to concerns about advertisements about Balochistan in London.

According to a message from the UK High Commission, he said, “I understand the strength of feeling about adverts in London. The British government does not and cannot control advertising in the UK.”

But, he added, “Our own position is clear about the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan, of which Balochistan is and will continue to be an integral part.”

TFL ISSUES APOLOGY: The TfL issued an apology to Pakistan over an offensive advertising campaign across its network which targeted Pakistan’s sovereignty.

The TfL said an internal enquiry had concluded that Pakistan’s legal position on the issue of the adverts placed on London’s transport network was right and clear and advertising policy breaches had been found on its part.

5 COMMENTS

  1. UK is an epicentre of Terrorists. UK is responsible for the massacre 15 punjabis in Balochistan just today. Pakistani foreign minister should openly tell the world that provides shelter to terrorists.

  2. Why not have free falkland islands on pakistani buses? Or free gibraltar on our buses? u cant expect justice from a thief.

  3. Oh, look the “honest and great” West stooping to below the belt tactics and shameless terrorist support.

    Goes to show the double-game in such nations. Dishonest and shameless evil nations are filled in the West, ranging from Hitler, to using of Atomic bombs, genocide to slavery of people who are not ‘white’ and so on.

    Nazis are abundant there too! What can we expect from them? Nothing, but bigotry.

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