ISLAMABAD - The clash between Pakistan Awami Tehrik workers and police was timely averted after PAT workers tried to enter the building of cabinet division on Monday.
This all started with the announcement of PAT Chief Dr Tahirul Qadri who called his security team inside his container urgently on Monday afternoon. Minutes later, dozens of protestors waving long and thick sticks started walking towards cabinet division building in an aggressive style. The attempt was foiled by a large number of policemen who quickly made a human wall after judging the mood of protestors. Policemen were also in furious mood. An exchange of hot words took place but senior police officials played role of mediators between PAT protestors and police.
The situation aroused when one van carrying food for the protestors was stopped by police. The officials allowed the van to move and calmed down the protestors. With the help of senior police officials and PAT leadership, protestors returned to their positions unwillingly.
The protestors, who have been sitting on Constitution Avenue for the last many days, seem very angry over presence of containers, restrictions on their food supply vans and Supreme Court’s recent order to vacate the Constitution Avenue. “Nobody is taking us serious. We have been away from our houses since August 14 but instead of accepting our demands, our vehicles are being stopped and more containers are being erected. Now the Supreme Court asks us to vacate the avenue. The court and government are pushing us for the extreme,” Mobeen Ahmed, 40-year-old resident of Kasur, said in an aggressive tone.
Even woman protestors seem angry and they said they would not go until their demands are met. “They have killed our 14 innocent people. We came here after the government and judiciary failed to provide us justice. We are peaceful but police and other departments should not test our patience,” Halima Bibi, a woman protestor, said with a mixed tone of anger and sadness.
On one hand the PAT protestors are losing their temperament, while on the other police are also not in a good frame of mind. The cops seem irritated, tired and overworked, while fatigue is written on their faces.
“We have been doing up to 18 hours duty a day since August 12. We don’t have proper sleep and food. Even a proper toilet is unavailable,” said Khalil Jaskani, a Punjab police official. He said policemen deployed on Constitution Avenue are more demoralised.
“In the morning there is a huge influx of traffic, as staffers come and leave dozens of offices situated on Constitution Avenue, and in evening, we cannot even close our eyes due to protestors who are on our nerves. I feel my nervous system would break down,” said Jalil Khan, another policemen. “We are just doing our duty but protestors are treating us as enemies,” he lamented.
“We are humans. We have our limits. We are not performing duty in normal circumstances. If this duty continues for some more days and protestors’ attitude does not change, cops may retaliate vigorously in case of any attack from protesters, though we do not such instructions,” Khan warned.