Long March to Islamabad

Posted on June 12, 2008
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Politics
65 Comments
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Owais Mughal

Trafic Route and blocks for Lawyers Long March on IslamabadThe long march which started at Karachi and Quetta on June 9, 2008 is near Islamabad now. It is scheduled to reach Islamabad on June 13.

The map on the left, from Dawn, shows the Islamabad Police’s plan to “manage” the march. It highlights the roads that the lawyers and other people living in Islamabad can and cannot use.

In a positive development, the lawyers have agreed to a detailed agreement with the government to keep the march peaceful. We certainly hope it is so.

Details from Dawn:

The government and representatives of the legal community signed a 20-point agreement on Thursday to maintain law and order in the federal capital where lawyers’ long march and protest programme will culminate on Friday. The organisers of the protest march have been told that they will be responsible for any disturbance in the city on the occasion. “The agreement has been signed with the consent of coalition partners and representatives of lawyers’ community,” Information Minister Sherry Rehman said at a press briefing on Thursday.

The agreement has been signed by Islamabad’s Deputy Commissioner Amir Ali and Rawalpindi Bar Association President Sardar Attaullah and Islamabad Bar Association (IBA) Secretary General Riasat Ali Azad. The community assured the government that the march would not enter the Constitution Avenue which has been declared ‘red zone’ and will be cordoned off during the protest programme. “Due to safety of diplomatic enclave and other important buildings, including the Parliament House, the area has been declared red zone and no one will be allowed to enter into it,” the minister said.

“But in case of any violation of the agreement and law and order situation, the responsibility will devolve on the organisers,” she said. The minister said PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari would provide food to the lawyers while the local administration would provide water and make arrangements for toilets. She said that the route and final destination of the protesters had been decided. The government, she said, had accepted the demands of lawyers and would facilitate them in setting up dais at the agreed venue at the parade ground, the area close to the Parliament House.

Giving details about the agreed route of the long march in Islamabad, she said the participants would enter the federal capital between 11am and 2pm on Friday from Faizabad and after going through the Zero Point, Kashmir Highway, Abpara Chowk, Suhrawardy Road and Embassy Road they would reach the parade ground. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani presided over a meeting of a committee formed to finalise security arrangements for the long march and expressed satisfaction over the agreement signed by the two sides.The meeting was attended by Prime Minister’s Adviser on Interior Rehman Malik, Ms Sherry Rehman, Labour Minister Khurshid Shah, Law Minister Farooq Naek and PML-N leaders Ishaq Dar, Ahsan Iqbal and Khawaja Asif.

The information minister said the lawyers’ representatives had assured the government that they would remain peaceful. The minister said there was no possibility of any PPP leader, including the prime minister, taking part in the lawyers’ programme. Security departments sealed the Constitution Avenue on Thursday night with large containers on all entry points, but some lawyers who had come from Sialkot to take part in the march, managed to enter the red zone. However, they were persuaded by security officials to leave the area.

Paramilitary force and police from Punjab have reached Islamabad to assist the local police in maintaining law and order. About 16 close-circuit cameras have been installed at different places near the venue of the protest meeting with control rooms at the district administration office and the interior ministry.Security departments have also installed more than a dozen security gates to stop suspects from joining the gathering. Dozens of police pickets have been set up on different roads in the city where vehicles are being searched. Armed personnel carriers equipped with anti-riot equipments, including tear-gas shells and rubber bullets have been placed to cope with any breakdown in security.

According to Daily News of June 13, 2008:

The lawyers’ long march caravans comprising political workers, civil society and members of different organisations, left Lahore for Islamabad on Thursday night amidst loud anti-Musharraf and anti-Zardari sloganeering. They vowed to restore the sacked judges of the Supreme Court by laying a siege to the Parliament House and the presidency. The march, which began from Karachi on Monday, gradually swelled in size and strength after passing through different cities including Sukkur, Multan, Bahawalpur, Sahiwal and Lahore.It will culminate in a huge rally in Rawalpindi and a long sit-in outside the Parliament House Islamabad on Friday to press for the restoration of the deposed judges of the superior courts to the pre-November 3, 2007 position, and independence of the judiciary as enshrined in the 1973 Constitution.

65 responses to “Long March to Islamabad”

  1. Kareem says:

    Ahmed R. Shahid, I strongly and desperately want Msharraf to leave. I think he is bad for Pakistan and the longer he stays the worse it is.

    BUT, why this sadistic strain to want to “hang” him? How is that “in the best interest of Pakistan”? When has hanging helped anyone or anything?

    I just don’t get this sadistic desire for violence, “mar jain gay, maar dain gay”.

  2. Ahmad R. Shahid says:

    Its in the best interest of Pakistan not just to remove Musharraf but to hang him.

  3. Long March drama brought the purpose in clear vision.They want to bring back Choudhry Iftikhar as chief justice as obliged man under their moral pressure and he will have to oblige by doing their matters according to their wishes as they brought him and given sacrifices.It will be a great mistake to remove Purvez Musarraf.

  4. Harris Siddiqui says:

    Quraishi Sahib,

    This movement is run by lawyers who have openly called for the siege of the Supreme Court and threatened to set the election commission on fire. It is now being hijacked by a politician who himself came out of the rotten egg of military dictatorship and has committed contempt on court when he was a P.M.

    In his speech he talked about not giving safe passage to Musharraf. Not a soul asked him that people who have run away with their families in the middle of the night while leaving their comrades behind under the safty of a “safe passage” don’t look good talking about it when the shoe is on the other foot.

    Keep on thinking that this movement is for justice. This movement is purely a political game of chess with His Honor Justice Chaudry playing the part of a pawn.

  5. Harris Siddiqui says:

    Hai Sahib,
    My comment was not meant to be a personal attack. I was merely making a point in response to your sarcastic tone that if you were given another life you would like to be a general and how you would benefit from that position.

    You made it seem like the Army is the sole cause of corruption in the nation. I suggest that if you wish for a second life, wish that you are born a “sajada nasheen” or a landlord. Life will be much simpler and fruitful for you.

    Shahid Sahib,
    We just reduced our defense budget when our enemy increased it this year. As for the agosta deals, Mansoor ul Haq got “NABBED” and had to pay back (although much less than he swindled) while your PPP politicians got scott free under NRO. Think about it.

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