This film is part of Free

Pakistani March, Bradford April 1979

Passions run high as the Pakistani community in Bradford take to the streets in angry protest against the execution of former Pakistan Prime Minister Ali Bhutto by General Zia.

Non-Fiction 1979 13 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


A large section of the Pakistani community in Bradford show their strong feelings about the hanging of former Pakistan Prime Minister Ali Bhutto on April 4th 1979 after a controversial trial for murder initiated by General Zia. Marching through the streets of Bradford the otherwise peaceful demonstrators, waving anti-Zia placards, vent their anger on local travel agents, 'Malik's'.

General Zia led a military coup in 1977 after a controversial election which saw Bhutto re-elected with 80% of the votes. Bhutto was arrested and found guilty of the murder of the father of a political opponent in 1974. This demonstration on 7th April attracted some 1,500 from across Yorkshire. It was most probably organised by supporters of the PPP, certainly it seems that the majority of Bradford’s Pakistani and Kashmiri community supported Bhutto. Yet a sizeable minority, including the Islamic Mission, took the opposite view, forming a ‘Hang Bhutto Committee’. The attack on the travel agents (there was a call to boycott Pakistani Airlines), leading to nine arrests, was condemned by the organisers.