You have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of democracy, social justice and the equality of mankind in your own native soil. [Mohammed Ali Jinnah]

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Eyewitness account of the vigil outside aitzaz ahsans residence

By: Ahmed Saleemi

Out of all the protests I went to, i think this was the best one. It had everything we needed: a crowd full of enthusiasm, media brimming with fervor and a spirit never seen before. Aitzaz was picked up from the motorway on his way to Islamabad. He was beaten and manhandled as his son was brought back to Lahore at gun point by the police. Even though it was Eid-Ul-Adha, we, as responsible members of the society, didn't hesitate to gather outside his residence at 6pm today for a vigil. In a matter of minutes, multitudes of people started joining us outside his residence and in a little while, they were chanting with us. Senior journalist Hamid mir and Faryal Gohar took an active part in the protest by chanting slogans. The protest was covered by several media representatives.

The protestors kept increasing and rose to at least 500 in number. Often pedestrians and vehicles would stop next to us and express their solidarity to the cause. This not only increased our confidence, but also instilled a hope for future protests!

We started walking towards the mall road while holding candles in our hands and chanting slogans against the government. The protestors, actively distributed flyers to the public even if we had to run on the main road in the midst of heavy traffic. We walked on the mall road gathered at the mall road chowk (infront of the big mosque). The enthusiasm of the society, which included children, students, adults, lawyers and a large number of women, was one of a kind. Apart from the large participation of women, the city also witnessed little children rasing their voices against the government. That is when we knew it was just the beginning of a massive reform. Hamid mir and a few other people addressed the protestors too.I talked to one of the police inspectors on duty there and he said " humein pata hai aap sachay hain jo kar rahe hain sahee kar rahe hain, hum bhi bus majboor hai rozi roti ke liye ye kaam karna parta hai". This congregation continued for more than 1.5 hour. Protests like “ tor raha hai Pakistan, naye daur ka naya khan”, “tor raha hai Pakistan, aaj k daur ka yahya khan”, “Pakistan ka bais e tabahi, pervez musharaf aur pervaiz elahi”, “Aitzaz tere jaan-e-nisar beshumar beshumar” were prevalent during the protest.

The protests resolved peacefully as most of the crowd made their way back to the residence of Aitzaz Ahsan.

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Zeeshan Ali Rana said...

yes this vigil and march was i think the best one in terms of participation from different sects of society including a significant number of children who were quite pumped up... those young kids also participated in distribution of flyers on a busy road, which is commendable... it was heartening to see around 150 people in streets on an eid day... when i reached there at 6 there were about 10 people present... in a 15 minutes time the count increased to around 50... protesters kept chanting slogans against the regime and after a while they started to march towards the mall... after a little while i noticed the voice of slogans is resoundin like never before in earlier protests... i turned behind and found too many of the protesters who have joined us in no time... there was participation from the passers by as well... people stopped for us to appreciate what we are doing and showing solidarity by making a victory sign... a few youngsters chanted slogans with the protesters while sitting in the windows of their moving cars. The protesters sung 'Hum Dekhein Gay' and 'Jin ka deen parwiye kizb-o-riya' by by Faiz and the national anthem... It was a good show really...

Zeeshan Ali Rana said...

Roshan kahin bahaar k, imkaan huay to hain :)