overwhelming……I have my shirt tied around my face, as do most of the
other people who are still here…..This is madness, it’s a jungle out
here”…..a Dawn reporter on Constitution Avenue described the melee that took place on Saturday night…..
Its actually a war out there. People are drowning in tear gas, women are fainting. The Prime Minister has abandoned his palace (residence). Every one is issuing threats, deadlines and what not.
So this is what happens when the civilians try to go up against the khakis – their nose gets really really rubbed into the ground. Lost of pawns (people) get shoved around. The polio vaccination drive in Sindh comes to a full stop. The economy goes into a tailspin. The rupee tumbles against the dollar. The international agencies and the diaspora (and even the neighbors) pray that ultimately there will be stability.
The army will stop the tear gas, the drownings, the killings. Nawaz Sharif will fly out to Saudi Arabia. Zardari will go to prison. The army will chase out the darkness and bring the sunshine back to Pakistan. Long live the Army.
“You can’t see anything here at D-Chowk. The tear-gas is
overwhelming. I have my shirt tied around my face, as do most of the
other people who are still here. This is madness, it’s a jungle out
This was how a Dawn reporter on Constitution Avenue described the melee that took place on Saturday night.
capital city’s high security area, the Red Zone, resembled a
battlefield as marchers from the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and the
Pakistan Awami Tehreek, en route to their new destination – the Prime
Minister’s House – clashed with security personnel.
10pm, when both Tahirul Qadri and Imran Khan gave their supporters their
marching orders, advancing demonstrators heading towards The
Presidency, Cabinet Division and Pakistan Secretariat were met with
rubber bullets and tear-gas from the heavy police contingents deployed
in the area.
Protesters, mostly men, armed with sticks advanced
onward towards the PM’s House, which is located behind the Presidency
and the Secretariat. Initially, police and security personnel deployed
on Constitution Avenue moved back and allowed them through. However,
when charged activists tried to storm official buildings, they were met
According to DawnNews, at least one person was killed
– a woman from the PAT camp – and well over a 150 people injured. Then,
just before midnight, the protesters began to push back and hit out at
the law enforcement personnel with anything they could lay their hands
on – batons, sticks and stones, marbles and slingshots.
the debilitating effect of tear gas, several piles of trash were set
alight by the protesters. Others had salt and wet towels handy, to keep
from succumbing to the crippling gas.
On the streets of the
capital, there was an eerie calm. Many chose to remain indoors for fear
of getting caught up in the clashes. Ambulance sirens could be heard
wailing throughout the night as the injured were ferried from the melee
to Polyclinic, Pims and other hospitals across the city.
a whole day of anticipation, just after 9:30pm, both Tahirul Qadri and
Imran Khan gave their supporters orders to march towards PM’s House.
Both were clear that their followers should remain peaceful and were at
pains to stress that women and children should stay behind.
Khan promised marchers that he would lead them from the front. But as
the procession began to move, his container got left behind.
and rangers deployed inside the perimeter of the Cabinet Block and
parliament building looked on as cranes lifted containers blocking the
path towards PM’s House.
Both sides were raising slogans
proclaiming unity between the marching parties. Some charged individuals
ran towards the Presidency. That is when police began firing tear gas
and rubber bullets, stopping most people in their tracks.
clouds of tear gas forced many-a PTI supporter to abandon D-Chowk and
their attempt to march towards PM House. At midnight, the area which had
hitherto been occupied by demonstrators from PAT and PTI looked more
like the rubble of a warzone. Many women were reported to have fainted,
and over 80 people were rushed to Polyclinic, which reported around
midnight that it was full to capacity. At the time of going to print,
Pims reported at least 50 injured were being treated there.