Posts Tagged ‘Section 144’

Long March as it happens

Police block a street in Lahore ahead of Long March

Police block a street in Lahore ahead of Long March

Photo Courtesy: SeeNReport

The Government has literally let lose all patience in stopping lawyers, political activists, members of the civil society and the common people from reaching Islamabad for the lawyer’s mass sit-in. In Karachi, the launchpad of the march, we saw authorities blocking highways, baton-charging marchers and mass arrests of the participants. Situation may spiral out of control as there are reports of further clashes, protests, arrests and cars being set on fire in the metropolis.

Situation might not be different in Punjab and rest of the Sindh province, where Section 144 was imposed restricing public gatherings and processions of any sorts, as the march proceeds towards Islamabad.

Bloggers around the country are providing hand-on news of the Long March as it happens. Teeth Maestro is doing live coverage of the march by getting updates from people using wide number of sources and means including Twitter.

You can watch further citizen journalism updates on SeeNReport‘s Long March page.

And the showdown begins

Effective from today, Section 144 has been imposed throughout Punjab to bar public gatherings, protests or processions of the lawyers movement and their supporters. The Long March is to begin simultaneously from Karachi and Quetta on March 12 to reach Lahore on the 14th and arriving at Islamabad’s Constitution Avenue on March 16.

By official orders, army has been called in 30 while rangers in 11 districts of the Punjab province giving a clear sign that the Government seriously does not want things to proceed so easily. Security forces have also started search operations for prominent leaders to put them behind bars or under house arrest while the PML(N) leadership is asking the civil administration to not obey the ‘illegitimate’ orders.

Interior Minister, Rehman Malik, has on the other hand warned of dire consequences to law-breakers and anyone causing social unrest or igniting a security situation in the capital. For security reasons, he has also proposed the organizers of the Long March to chose a venue other than the sensitive Constitution Avenue. Lawyers rejected the government’s concern by guaranteeing that there will not be any law and order violation and crowds will be behaving according to a pre-defined code of march.

Both fronts are determined to their respective ambitions causing anxiety and fear of mass political or security instability in an already weakened nation. And unfortunately, our leaders have yet to realize how bad the situation for Pakistan has really become.

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