Spotted at Allama Iqbal International Airport – Hasan’s Flickr
At the Liberty Roundabout, which was the scene of a bloody ambush of the Sri Lankan Cricket Team on March03, it has become a daily feature for passers by to stop and pay respects to the memory of the martyred policemen.
Six of the men guarding Sri Lankan Team’s convoy lost their lives while battling about twelve very heavily armed militants right in the heart of Lahore in broad daylight.
Lahorites are proudly commemorating the bravery of these men who sacrificed their lives to save what is left of this country’s international image. It was due to the cover provided by deterrence of these men lasting 25 minutes against the terrorists that the bus carrying the Sri Lankans was able to escape to safety of the Qadaffi Stadium. Would they have not fought bravely enough, the whole Sri Lankan team might have been taken hostage or in a worse scenario; killed!
As you do a roundabout at Liberty, you can see stacks of flowers and bouquets coupled with hand written charts, banners, posters and candles adorning the small memorial erected in the grounds. The most prominent feature of the memorial is the official banners with pictures of the martyrs on them.
We owe a lot to the ‘Shuhada of 3/3’ namely:
– Zafar Iqbal, Constable Elite Force
– Faisal Rasheed Butt, Head Constable Elite Force
– Mudassar Nadeem, Constable Elite Force
– Muhammad Sultan, Constable/Driver Elite Force
– Tipu Farid, Constable Mujahid Squad
– Tanveer Iqbal, Traffic Warden
We pray that may God grant peace to their loved ones and bless their souls by honoring them with the highest ranks in heaven. Amen!
More Pictures: Liberty Memorial at Flickr
Lahore is brimming to its maddening political edge as political parties battle it out in the streets. Loyalists branding party emblems are gathering everywhere. The Mall is a political boulevard where all parties deem it necessary to make their presence felt.
Such a “battle” brought me to an eventful PML-N rally on The Mall on 26 February. Armed with my camera and its bag; I walked hesitantly into the rally, a potential terrorist strike target. I freelance as a photojournalist, an interesting but risky job.
Here, the workers of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had blocked The Mall for over five hours in their protest against the Supreme Court (SC) verdict that disqualified the Sharif brothers from contesting the general elections.
Unrest prevailed as the protest intensified when aggressive party workers marched towards the Punjab Assembly building to break the locks after PML-N parliamentarians had to sit on the staircase to conduct the session.
Anti-Zardari slogans were chanted, tyres were burnt tyres and banners containing pictures of PPP leaders were brandished. The protesters held placards and banners that condemned the SC and the PPP-led government.
During the protest, a worker climbed a streetlight to hoist a PML-N flag.
Addressing the workers, PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz said the SC had disqualified PML-N leadership on the directives of President Asif Ali Zardari and alleged that “The decision was a raid on democracy”.
The other side:
Amid the noise at such ralies, a series of fortunate and misfortunate events also take place. A rally is a world in itself, in addition to the main political activity, there is a lot that goes on.
Pickpockets have a field day, robbing unsuspecting spectators of their cell phones, wallets and whatever they can get their hands on. I lost my cellphone as a man smuggled his way into my pocket and disappeared into thin air.
Hawkers scramble about the gathering, selling water, food and the bare necessities. You’ll find people munching on goodies, browsing lottery tickets and offering free political analysis to everyone around them.
Amid the commotion, one also gets assaulted by “pushy” people who force their way towards the stage. I was elbowed and my sunglasses fell to the road. Before I could pick them up, a “footful” of people stomped their way through and reduced it into a mere wire mesh! Why was I wearing sunglasses? Well the smoke from the burning tyres can be quite tearful at times!
“Zardari chuha”/Zardari Kuta
Animal rights everyone? Protesters hanged a live mouse from a board that read out “Zardaru chuha” (Translated: Zardari is a mouse). I couldn’t help but capture this one. Is this freedom of expression of abuse of expression? The little mouse was trembling and paying with its life for someone else’s crimes.
Men wearing horror masks and holding placards inscribed with Zardari Kuta (Translated: Zardari is a dog) are rampant throughout these anti-PPP rallies. These men get a lot of press attention, though such images may not be published, but they remain an irresistible catch for any photographer.
The political circus brings with it many characters. Activists try to steal the show by using their theatrical abilities to catch everyone’s attention. Here men beat their chests, “mourning” the SC verdict.
It seems that as things become increasingly complicated in this political turmoil, it is advisable to witness the events from the safety of your house. The Mall shall remain choked and tense until things settle down. Lets hope the anarchy simmers down and Lahore is restored to its glory.
As it is all over in the news now, Supreme Court declared the Sharif brothers ineligible for contesting elections and Mian Shahbaz Sharif, under this verdict, has lost his seat in the provincial assembly and is no longer the chief minister of Punjab.
The decision annoyed most of the people in the country and people in many cities came out to protest against the decision taken by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Like many others, I was also stuck in a blockade near Kalma Chowk. People burnt tyres and raised slogans against the president and the governor. They did not seem to acknowledge the verdict of the Supreme Court.
I didn’t hear any news of any one getting injured or ny serious damages due to these protests and I hope all remain safe and calm.
A group of amateur photographers with a passion for their homeland have set out to project an image of Pakistan that is totally opposite to the one most popular with international media. Pakistan, today, is in headline news for all the wrong reasons and the world has forgotten that this land still has culture, colors, music, festivals, hopes and aspirations to a brighter future built on a rich past.
Members of the Pakistani Photographers Group at Flickr have arranged a collection display of about forty photographs related to “The Other Pakistan” theme. Submitted by amateur members of the group, these amazing captures range from portraits, landscapes, and architecture to everyday life spanning over entire Pakistan including Lahore, the Northern Areas, Cholistan, Skardu and Uch Sharif.
After its first successful day (Feb.18), the exhibition will contiue on February 19 at the Students’ Lounge, Lahore University of Management Sciences. The exhibition, sponsored and supported by Bank Alfalah, is to later visit smaller cities of Pakistan as well.
Note: Pictures in this post are shared with permission from Mr. Yasir Nasir, photographer and organizer of the exhibition at LUMS and are property of their respective photographers.
Some time back, around 2 or three years, I remember reading few books on suggestion from a very close friend of mine. we were discussing diversity at that time. That dear friend not only gave me a reading list but was kind enough to share two books with me. One was Taboo by Dr. Fouzia Saeed and the other was Between Chaddor and the Market by Jasmin Mirza. Book Review here
My first reaction was shock. yes, shock is the word that almost defines what i felt for days after reading those books. During my 8 years in corporate sector, I had an opportunity to live and work with people from different parts of the world. I attended training and seminars on issue of workplace diversity and gender issues. Even then this was too big a cultural shock for me to absorb.
Can people living in the same city be so different and isolated in their values? Can all of this still be happening in modern times? Questions, questions and more questions I was left with. The adventure boy inside me wanted me to check out the Mohalla first hand. And I did. not once but three times but in none of those trips, I was able to verify the detailed descriptions of the sub-culture as defined in the books.
First trip was during day time and second one was in Moharram, so the bazaar was not open and all i saw was just the shops and ordinary people. I was impressed with the architecture of inner city though. In the last trip, I got a glimpse of reality. It was at perfect time. 1 A.M. and I saw the same visuals as described in the books and as you will see in the documentary below. Since, I went alone, I did not dare to enter any of the so called “Office”. Only few friends know what happened that night.
This documentary came as a surprise. It verified the contents of the books above and contains real truth about the people who frequent these tawaifs. the interview of the police office in charge is really interesting. This documentary was originally made for TV One but they did not dare to air it. so some one published it on internet. It is a real eye opener. It shows a face of our society, no one even wants mention. Download and save this as PTA might ban these URLs too. as it contains some politically radioactive content. Here is the excerpt from the blog where I originally found the links to these Youtube.com videos.