Karachi protest frizzles out before starting…

A massive protest had been planned outside the Karachi Press Club today. A *lot* of people showed up. The problem was, however, that a majority of them probably thought that the protest would be a dinner party.

A pre-protest meeting was held inside the KPC premises, where some people starting chanting slogans. The KPC management objected to this, and asked people to go outside if they wanted to chant slogans. People decided to step outside the KPC. At this point, some people tried to hijack the demonstration, and starting chanting slogans on their own the moment they realised they were surrounded by TV cameras.

[In the meantime, please remember that the entire area around the press club had been cordoned off, and heavy police contingents had been placed all around, including female police personnel.]

So yeah, the media cameramen got out of the KPC, followed by everyone else. This was a mistake — the cameramen should have let everyone ELSE come out first.

Now, Instead of waiting for the entire crowd to come out and protest together, some people decided to be lone rangers. During this time, they realised that an “agencies ka banda” was in the group. Everyone started beating him up — and when I say “everyone,” I mean the cameramen AND the protesters. The guy ran towards the nearest police mobile, where the policemen just gaped at him. [This was a funny bit — a guy runs towards the police mobile, he’s being followed by people who’s trying to beat him up. “Maaro saaley ko!” k naarey all around, and the policemen stand and gape. ROTFLOL!!!]

So they guy realised that these policemen were useless and he ran towards a bunch of mobiles at the other end of the road. WahaaN sey a whole BUNCH of policemen came running back with laathiaN and all. They saw cameramen on the frontline and starting baton-charging them. Cameras were broken, people were chased. Some guys fell down, and at least five to six policemen each hit EACH of those guys brutally with sticks before dragging them off. :-S

Khair, so everyone rushed back to the press club, where a “meeting” was held. Anis Haroon and all were of the opinion that people will get arrested if they went outside to protest (no really, ya think?), and decided that the conditions were “too harsh” — the protestors were outnumbered by the police personnel, they said. Now at this point, I was wondering WHY they came there in the first place. Did they not realise that all of this would happen when they first announced a protest? Yaani k KIA?!

They then decided that a meeting would be held at the Aurat Foundation offices at 03:00 p.m. tomorrow (jeez!). I will not attend it, neither will a lot of other people who were there today.

In the meantime, policemen cordoned off the Press Club, and said that they were waiting outside for political leaders holed up within the KPC premises. Yousuf Masti Khan (secretary-general of Minto’s National Workers Party) was arrested the moment he stepped outside. The police believe Bizenjo and Tehrik-e-Insaf’s (TI) Alvi saheb are still in there. Bizenjo has refused to step outside. The standoff continues…

I know bits and portions of this post are very rude, but I’m angry at the people (they know who they are) who tried to first hijack the protest, and then kill it. This was a demonstration to register Karachi’s protest against the Martial Law, people, not a friggin’ photo op. Give us a BREAK, okay?

77 Comments so far

  1. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on November 6th, 2007 @ 10:31 am

    And when I said earlier that uneducated cabals are fed by educated lot, comments made by the guy OWK are one of many examples why uneducated lot still serving in Pakistan and why can’t we have some good leader. Few months back this guy was preaching about Imran and was cursing Musahrraf while this dude didn’t make any attempt to see the news when several mothers were outside of court and on many places with pictures of their loved ones.

    When ignorance is bloss, its folly to be wise.

  2. kashif uddin (unregistered) on November 6th, 2007 @ 10:55 am

    I have been following politics in Pakistan ever since I was 6-7 years

    old. I still remember Bhutto’s unlawful hanging. I remember Zia’s

    corrupt and bigoted martial law and I also remember the nascent and at

    times the corrupt democracies which followed. But what I see happening

    today in Pakistan is not only unwarranted but also unparalleled in our


    Our Judiciary is under siege, they are effectively arrested as if they

    are nothing more than common criminals. Imagine majority of the Supreme

    Court is being held hostage in any civilized country. How shameful. With

    them a majority of the High Court Judges of Pakistan are also being held

    hostage by the present regime.

    And then the usurpers who call themselves the government of Pakistan

    have the galls to talk about that they are doing all this for the

    betterment of the country. They speak to us as if they are speaking to

    their slaves. They talk down to us.

    How long, how long are we going to suffer this ignominy? When will we

    stand up and be counted?

    All these years I have been disillusioned by the dream called Pakistan.

    A ray of hope arose when the lawyer’s community and the Higher Judiciary

    rose to the occasion.

    A hope that yes maybe I too might have some recourse against the people

    who sit in the corridors of power and who are not used to any one

    questioning their authority and wrong doings.

    A hope, that I too can enjoy basic freedoms and human rights.

    But for now it seems like it was just an amazing dream that has just

    ended too quickly. The ray of hope was quashed by those who are nothing

    more than Usurpers of this nation’s rights and hopes. And darkness

    prevails again. The fight between good and evil has moved into its

    second phase.

    The judges have done their duty, the lawyers and ex judges have done

    their duty, the media has done its duty, and now the bugle blows for us

    the citizens of Pakistan wherever we are to do our duty.

    My fellow Pakistanis there is no better time to be counted than now, let

    your voices be heard, let the people who are assaulting us in the cover

    of darkness know that we will not take it lying down any more.

    Let the usurpers and their cohorts know that Pakistan was not created

    for them but for us the common man, so that we could enjoy life, liberty

    and the pursuit of happiness.

    I ask my fellow Pakistanis to register their protest peacefully and for

    those who are in Pakistan to lay wreaths on the gates of the judiciary

    that has been murdered by the evil usurper, and do it in large numbers.

    So that by leaving behind these wreaths we can let these usurpers know

    that yes we are peaceful but we are aware and we will not let them take

    away our rights without a fight.

    I suggest we lay these wreaths outside all the courts in Pakistan. And

    mourn the death of our brave judiciary. And then when we have done this

    in the thousands, then we should rejoice and welcome the new judiciary

    which has arisen out of these ashes the brave judiciary who lies

    captured in the hands of these usurpers, and rise to free them from

    these shackles.

    For those who are not in Pakistan I suggest, we register our protest by

    writing to the editors of the various influential newspapers and writing

    or calling our elected representatives wherever we are and letting them

    know that they need to now stand up with the moderates and the democracy

    loving people of Pakistan and only then is there any salvation against

    the extremists that they are trying so hard to defeat. Or otherwise what

    stares them in their faces is a civil war in Pakistan. And that is not

    good. For you don’t want another Iraq or Iran in the face of Pakistan.

    It is time to be counted. Time to let our voices be heard. Stop all that

    you are doing. Your country needs nothing more than for you to be on the

    streets, and on the phones or with your emails to let you voices be

    heard among all mankind that we will not take this lying down.

  3. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on November 6th, 2007 @ 11:03 am

    In today’s News

    We have nothing to cook while I had my children with me.” He said the other day he was asked to take oath under the PCO but I said, ” I am for upholding the Constitution and the rule of law. I can’t be such a hypocrite as earlier we had been giving decisions against Musharraf and now we take oath to legitimise the PCO and imposition of emergency.”

    Awesome piece by Abbasi. One thing which thrilled me is firm belief of all judges on Allah. Mashallah. If they r not political statement then I believe that Hundreds of Mushrrafs can’t defeat them at all. Bravo guys! keep it up!!

  4. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on November 6th, 2007 @ 11:18 am

    the url was not rendered properly. visit the following:

  5. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on November 6th, 2007 @ 11:26 am

    @ KASHIF

    In larger picture from outside it seems that Pakistan is in state of misery and state of people are worst then congo, burma and somalis and anyone can rant from distance for sympathy and try to dictate and spell out a policy for Pakistan – right ?

    We live here, we are Alhamdolillah sustaining, surviving and Inn sha ALLAH we all will strive to improve whatever we can do to lead the country out of bad. If not us then our next generation will be much happier and better then us and the generation next & next & next will look at us a history of effort which gave them better Pakistan.

    The naturalised un-rated E class citizens with zero standing of xyz country may rest in peace.

  6. Umair H MIrza (unregistered) on November 6th, 2007 @ 12:38 pm


    Other good resources include the aggregation at BuzzVines, the reporting at Teeth Maestro, and the Karachi Metroblog.

  7. omar r. quraishi (unregistered) on November 6th, 2007 @ 1:06 pm

    ramla i feel sorry for you

  8. omar r. quraishi (unregistered) on November 6th, 2007 @ 1:33 pm

    btw that teeth doc’s blog was mentioned in a guardian story that i just read

  9. xyz (unregistered) on November 6th, 2007 @ 8:10 pm

    Adnan Siddiqui wrote:

    As I said earlier, Expats living abroad having luxurious life sound lame and pathetic when they comment about pakistan’s situation. Be Thankful dude you’re not on this soil

    Just want to tell you that we have been on that soil and we belong to that country as much as you do. Just because we are abroad (to get further studies or acquire more skills) doesn’t make us any lesser than you. It surprises me that on one hand you say things like the goras have been using the Divide & Rule concept on us but how you fail to understand that you yourself in every comment of yours on this blog Divide people in a heart beat! Based on their opinions, their views, their religion, their political affiliation, the fact that they are expats, or even if YOU feel they are ignorent and do not deserve to comment. How ironic. No offence bro, you are another Pakistani and just like a brother. Just wanted to make you realize that its better to look at your own self before you point fingures at others. Look at your own attitudes, i smell hatred in each and every comment you post. Maybe im completely wrong but this is how i felt.

  10. Balma (unregistered) on November 6th, 2007 @ 8:24 pm

    Call me cynic, but I am totally scared now. I am wondering if all this nooraa-kushti between Bushie and Mushie is to install Budnazir idiot (Benazir, so search engines pick this) as the Prime Minister. This way Paksitan does not even have to go through horse trading and election farce to get her selected. Oh Khudaa (allah for fanatics), show us your mercy….keep Budnazir away from Prime Ministership but safe enough so some honest judge or ruler of PK can get stolen money back from her and then try her for her brother’s (a terrorist, but still a human being)murder. Aameen, Summa (thumaa for fanatics) Aameen.

  11. Reality_Check (unregistered) on November 6th, 2007 @ 8:50 pm

    BALMA dont forget the Choudhri’s, they are exuding confidence, BB is not in for a joy ride, She will get a very tough time in Punjab and probably in some areas of Sindh too.

  12. Reality_Check (unregistered) on November 6th, 2007 @ 8:54 pm

    Hey KASHIF cool down heaven has not fallen, people have got work to do they are not foolish to stand in a line which goes no where and get themselves counted.
    Election will happen, mean time just chill out and get some entertainment.

    Also, please avoid using double line spaces.

  13. Balma (unregistered) on November 6th, 2007 @ 8:57 pm

    REality_Check bhai, this is indeed the reason I am scared…that Busie and Mushie will use emergency to install Budnazir. i.e. Budnazir will come to haunt us on DanDay kay zore per. i.e. No one in Panjab or Sindh matters.

    aaltoo-jalaaltoo, aayee Budnazir balaa ko Taal too.

  14. Reality_Check (unregistered) on November 6th, 2007 @ 9:36 pm

    BALMA this will not happen, it was the Choudhry’s that insisted on emergency since LAL Masjid, Mushahid and others opposed it.
    Imposition of emergency is the victory for Chaudhry lobby within the establishment; they have already marginalized the deal between BB and Mush.

    However, the fact remains that nobody can control all the variables, things can always take a turn.

  15. no_need (unregistered) on November 6th, 2007 @ 9:59 pm

    Balma, aik martaba phir yaddahani karwa raha hoon…ya tou angrazi likho ya sahih Urdu likho. angrazi aur Urdu kay alfaaz ko aik hi jumlay may nahin likha karo. agli martaba sakht alfaaz ka istimal kiya jaeey ga agar baz nahin aaey. Samjahy mian?

    agar iss baat ka jawab dayna hay tou aql istimal karna. Reality_check ki tarha aaien baien shaien baatian na karna (uper daykho).

  16. Balma (unregistered) on November 6th, 2007 @ 11:27 pm

    No_Need: you sound like a funny guy.
    I like you already!

  17. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on November 7th, 2007 @ 12:07 am

    @XYZ: yes you are completely wrong. I was clearly addressing MAJORITY of those expats like reality, OWK and many others who just try to get idea about homeland by newspapers only or just some random calls back at home. When these people try to reject those who actually have been suffering then it makes me to feel like what I said earlier.

    Rejecting or denying something doesn’t mean hatred. I hope you understand it quite well.

  18. Reality_Check (unregistered) on November 7th, 2007 @ 8:26 am

    ADNAN I told you b4 my experiences are not second hand and neither is my knowledge of what is going on. All I am saying to you guys, as RAMLA A so eloquantly phrased, change does not come by demanding it, but by being part of the effort to bring it about, everything else is whining. I did in practice what I felt was needed to be done risking the most precious thing i.e. life.

    I dont think at present there is a need for creating chaos and I am patient enough to see what can be achieved by this emergency plus I have never doubted the sincerity of Mush towards Pakistan. But those are my personal views.

    If someone things otherwise then I have offered my advice, call me old fashioned or out of touch but struggle demands sacrifice and in this day and age with the support of Media and a benign dictator that sacrifice will not be too much. Believe me hand dusting by police and couple of weeks in a lock up are not a big price to pay. There are no millitary courts, no CIA torture centres and no public lashing, what we are seeing now is kid stuff.

    Ofcourse for the known terrorists there is special treatment, but even they can get relief from the courts.

  19. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on November 7th, 2007 @ 1:12 pm

    @XYZ –

    Part of my family is unrated E-class naturalised citizen of PQRST country., and still want to HAVE a CNIC, NICOP, etc etc.

    They rant alot when such things happen, I always tell them to stay calm, and and worry only when WE are worried.

    lately i attended a family video conference, Supposedly 11 concerned Pakistanis families were gathered discussing situation and future of Pakistan, and It was like a comedy show for all of us here.

    I muted the microphone not to hurt their feelings, but they were discsussing as if (nauoz billah) Pakistan is coming to an end and Isreal & India with US forces would be landing anytime to take over. POOR EXPATS

    We commoners – I fail to understand what is reason we are so worried knowing all it is somehow the other a ‘DRAMA’ – be it CJ, BB, NS, Mullahs or THE TROIKA by themselves.

    Unless there is CURFEW and common people are denied to earn & work for their daily living, I take that as ‘OK’ – Yes I will protest and load my gun and come out on street if my neighborhood starts to starve, kids cry, sick are not allowed to approach hospitals, etc etc.

    Under the current ruckus situation, this fits well – GOD HELP THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES… !

    Peace is everywhere, may be it is not within those who are opportunist.,

    Out of all Acredited Bloggers –

    and people like me –


    Please share it.

    BTW – did anyone noticed The Wall Chalking all over the city of Karachi is WHITE WASHED ??? – :)

  20. libertarian (unregistered) on November 7th, 2007 @ 2:08 pm

    @jamal shamsi and all those who feel secure and smug today…
    there is a story narrated of an american man…
    they came for the commies in the 50’s …I stood and watched…they came for the blacks in the sixties and I stood and watched ….now they have come for me, will no one stop them?….
    make whatever you want of it..twist it, spin it …
    but I leave you with two quotes…

    ‘Most men, after a little freedom, have preferred authority with the consoling assurances and the economy of effort which it brings.’ ~Walter Lippmann, A Preface to Morals, 1929

    and most appropriately…
    ‘He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself.’ ~Thomas Paine

    think about it….

  21. XYZ (unregistered) on November 7th, 2007 @ 3:24 pm

    Jamal Shamsi – completely agree with you. About the people living outside Pakistan in your family, I don’t know what you meant by they “rant”. I’m assuming you meant they freak out and start discussing theories about what the whole thing is about and what will happen next. Isn’t what we all do by the way? It’s funny because i used to laugh at such expats too when I used to live in Pakistan. Now i can see the other side of the coin. I myself freaked out and called home and asked them what was going on. It’s just very natural, when you’re far away from home/country, you tend to get a bit more worried and concerned and there’s nothing wrong with it. And I am very much aware of such situations. I have experienced a few bomb blasts very closely, have lifted bodies so I know how it’s like practically. But still i freak out – human nature. But I never give judgements on who’s right and who’s wrong and what’s going to happen next, because I dont know and I maybe completely wrong and those statements by me could impact others. People might start believing in what I say (theories or made up stuff).

    My take on emergency is somewhat same as yours. I dont think common people have lost anything, there is business as usual in the city (as I gather from people’s comments). I say if things are peaceful, kids can go to school, people can go to work and there are no holidays in the name of “protests”, then i’m happy. Atleast innocent people are not dying. I wonder why can’t the lawyers do their jobs dedicately from 9 to 5, handle cases honestly, rather than coming out on the streets and throwing stones at the police? Where in the world is such behaviour considered revolutionary? Does any one really think THIS will cause a revolution in Pakistan? Does anyone really thing THIS will bring a change? How about brining a change by being economically strong, by just doing our work with integrity, giving our kids the good tarbiyat so they can be good human beings. I know it all sounds like a speech to alot of people, but face it guys, THIS is what will bring a change that this nation needs.

  22. llama (unregistered) on November 7th, 2007 @ 3:59 pm

    XYZ and Jamal Shamsie: could not agree more with you.

    most citizens are trying to go about their daily lives. yet at the same time they are not apathetic to the situation or to the chaos in the judiciary. we are all concerned at whats happening and we hope and pray that it is the right action at the right time. No one really knows how it will turn out. But we need to be thankful that peace prevails and go about our work and actually contribute in our small ways to the nation.

  23. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on November 7th, 2007 @ 5:18 pm


    Few of my family members choose to migrate and adopt other country as homeland due to situation of late 80’s onwards, – so i know what you mean.

    Again, judging from distance is not wise, passing comments and suggesting to quit living in Pakistan, doesn’t make sense,.



    By WE I never mean me or my family, BY WE i always generalise about what i read on this blog and see around me daily. right from my gardner to the driver, the grocerry shop owner, the cobbler, the maid the work place staff, the car washing boy, the hotel waiter, the stationery shop guy, the vallet waiter, milkshop owner etc etc who i do salam alaik on & off every day.

    They are all at peace & happy., and least bothered about what is with lawyers, journalists, etc etc etc, they even asked where and what is emergency like.

    What you referred from US History does not apply in this region.

    If you mean Talibanisation seeping down from mountains to plains, :) people can wait and have fantasy for it, no harm in dreaming.

  24. Reality_Check (unregistered) on November 7th, 2007 @ 8:44 pm

    JAMAL you have my vote too…..thats what I say to people here that heavens is not falling down. We have seen much worse times. The people who were born in 80’s have not even seen curfew. This constitutional wrangling can be the opium of the few, but it does not affect ordinary people. When workplaces, school, colleges, factories and business are open then where is emergency? Not even in the hospitals, except in the courtrooms. The irony is, the closure of the courts does not affect the ordinary citizen because nothing gets decided there anyway, the poor litigants have been spared unnecessary visits. In fact its bail time for the lawyers and they are in a catch 22.

    As for the media anchors and the hype creators, I compare them with the shopkeepers jo Dukaan sajaa key shaam ko beth jaate hain aur roozana dukaan key aagey kuch rakh ke they endulge in encroachment. One day the municipality comes and tears down whatever chairs, boards and stalls they have put in front of their shop. Things remain as is for a while, dukaan phir khul jaatee hey and the cycle is repeated.

  25. libertarian (unregistered) on November 8th, 2007 @ 12:29 pm

    @ jamal and the rest …how your ancestors and mine will be turning in their graves listening to your comments…its an insult to say the least for the people who migrated from India to Pakistan in the name of ‘freedom’…did your father and grandfather stay in British-India saying this is between Jinnah, Gandhi and the british empire as I am going to work 9-5 every day and earning bred for my family…were they delusional of the state of Pakistan and what it represented that they would risk their lives to cross over to reach Pakistan where they had no food,clothes or shelter…answer me why?…

    You say the sky has not fallen …do you know what a constitution of a country is?…It is the most sacred document of the country…why? it would be best if you read it…its self explanatory…or maybe you enjoy seeing people rounded uplike cattle without charges…hey its your right to feel so but that is what I want to protect…read your constitution for once as it is your duty being a pakistani…you have become desensitized and now quoting from history which you think are just memories which apply to specific people and regions…the most absurd thing I have heard to date…

    ”A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right’…

    you say this doesnt affect an average man…then go read the articles that have been removed by this ’emergency’ before you answer my post…and then tell me if you are a free man or a slave…
    irrespective of who I am…I have the right to say feel , protest and assemble anywhere I want…my ancestors died trying to achieve this for me ..and I will not let a few oligarchs and plutocrats take it away from me…you can go to your 9 to 5 work…feed your child and try convincing him that he is born a free man…we/I do not care …but let it not be said that I did nothing…we will fight for your and your future children’s civil liberties for maybe he shall covet it more than you do….

  26. Reality_check (unregistered) on November 9th, 2007 @ 3:13 am

    LIBERTARIAN My father is one of those guys who made that perilous journey in 1947, he is alive and supports Musharraf. He believes that Muslims of sub-continent were taken for a ride by the slogan mongers.

    But that’s all history, Jamal is absolutely right, no use in running after vague goals and hypocrat leaders. What liberties have been taken away from you? If you are suffering from media withdrawal symptoms then relax you will receive your dose very soon, that will calm you down and you will be able to sit in front of the idiot box and Wah Wah the conspiracy theorists.

    In the modern day and age the formula is to work hard, earn an honest living, attract investment, improve education, avoid chaos and everything else will follow.

  27. libertarian (unregistered) on November 10th, 2007 @ 10:45 am

    @reality check …if you and your dad believe that the muslims were duped and taken for a ride …the door to india and the rest of the world is still open…sad in this day you don’t read and value your
    civil liberties…I am sick of citing the clauses that have been removed from the constitution…khair about this improving education thing you mention…all i see is cosmetic parks and fly overs being proped up….what investment are you talking about…the 10 billion in us aid or the loans from world bank and IMF…we are the third largest country getting aid=slaves from america after iraq and israel….read the secret history of the american empire by john perkins and then look at what is going on in the country…that book will alter a lot of childish beliefs of security….haha Pakistan was avague goal too but I guess you and your dad have a stated position on that….

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