ISLAMABAD- Finally, the patience of government exhausted and it ordered use of force to disperse the Azadi and Inqlab marchers when their leadership announced to move in front of Prime Minister’s House from Constitution Avenue where they stayed for almost two weeks.
Clouds of teargas shells engulfed the Red Zone and made the Constitution Avenue a battlefield with police using teargas, batons and also resorted to fire rubber bullets to disperse the protesters of PAT and PTI, who till filing of this report were giving a tough time to the law enforcement agencies.
The political parties were cautiously watching the situation and not coming up with some reaction to the situation. MQM chief Altaf Hussain was first to grill the government over the situation and also announced to observe Sunday as the day of mourning. PTI has also announced countrywide strike today.
Some of the federal ministers were out to fiercely defend the operation against the protesters and said that how the government could stay silent when the protesters were breaching the sanctity of the state institutions.
Getting out of one the government has entered into another dead alley as the chances of spilling over of the Red Zone operation reaction to other major cities would start and the problems of government would multiply, Awami Muslim League President Sh. Rashid Ahmad said adding that the government could not digest the fallout of the use of force against the peaceful protesters.
Political observers said that dispersal of the protesters from the Red Zone would not end here and the crisis would magnify in the days to come with garnering of more political support for the protesters.
Sources aware of behind the scene developments informed The Nation that initially Prime Minister was against use of force to contain the protesters and he had even passed on direction to Interior Minister not to resort to use of force, but later on the persuasion of Ch. Nisar and some other close aides it was decided not to let these protesters move forward. But at the same time clear-cut direction was given only to use teargas, batons and rubber bullets to disperse the protesters to avoid any serious casualty to the protesters.
On the other hands political observers saw the spilling over the reaction of the Red Zone operation and use of force in other cities the glimpses of which had started appearing in shape of protests and demonstrations in Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi.
Now only time will prove whether the decision of government is correct to handle the situation or it landed in another cul-de-sac by getting rid of these protesters who had perhaps staged a longest peaceful sit-in in country’s chequered political history.