ISLAMABAD - Their eyes were swollen for suffering a sleepless night on the pavement of a road near Aabpara Market and were required to be on their toes the next day dancing to Pashto songs sung in praise of their leader. The irritating long wait for arrival of their leaders had consumed their energy. A group of PTI supporters had decided to retreat in the evening of Friday before the revolutionary rally steps in Islamabad.
They had been brought from far-flung area of Lakki Marwat and were dumped on a green belt along Zero Point Interchange where they found no shelter in the dark night of Thursday.
Tashfeen Marwat, 22, along with his six other colleagues from Lakki Marwat was observed asking people for helping them the location of bus station in Islamabad so that they could go back to their native area, Lakki Marwat, some 400 kilometers off Islamabad.
The young activists had been brought to Islamabad by PTI leaders for showing maximum strength in the federal capital as part of a long march that PTI chief Imran Khan claims to be a giving 'real independence' to Pakistan.
"We waited for Imran Khan with empty stomachs. We are sleepy and must go home. We cannot dance anymore," Shamim Marwat, 24, was adamant to return to his native area and was forcing his other colleagues to accompany him.
The presence of PTI supporters and followers of Dr Tahirul Qadri could be observed occupying Zero Point Bridge stretched on 200-meter area with a sizeable number of vendors who had thronged the venue for selling items.
And a light drizzle before sunset on Friday rendered the only gathering place of protesters deserted as the tsunami-trumpeting supporters of PTI and harbinger of Qadri's revolution could not withstand the shower and rushed for cover.
In the absence of any senior PTI's office-bearer for ensuring stay of the participants, most of the local supporters had gone home by evening while the rest of activists had thronged commercial markets for buying something for food or arranging rented accommodation for night stay.
The Aabpara Market was the only commercial market that witnessed huge rush of shoppers for being near to the venue and for having shops where enough quantity of Naswar was available.
Since most of the protesters that had arrived on Thursday belonged to southern parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the demand for traditional Naswar was on the rise and there was no place to meet the growing demand except Aabpara Market where the business is flourishing.
"I keep stock of Naswar that lasts for a week. Now I am short of the quantity as the entire stockpile was sold out within two days. I have to bring more stuff now," Nawaz Khan, a happy shopkeeper in the market, told The Nation.
Not all participants were exhausted as some of the local followers of Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) who poured into the city late, were observed wielding sticks and hooting at police deployed on Islamabad Highway.
A policeman who requested anonymity said that he had waved party flags of the activists in order to earn sympathies of the participants adding that on many occasions he was not treated well by the young supporters.
Ziaullah Afridi, KP Minister for Minerals, and Mushtaq Ghani, Minister for Higher Education, were observed roaming Abapara area for gathering the supporters once again as the venue at Zero Point Bridge was gradually getting deserted.
The ministers to some extent got successful by assembling dozens of loyalists and convincing them to ensure their presence at the venue so that they could welcome the approaching rally from Lahore led by Imran Khan.