On Saturday I went to D-Chowk, in Islamabad, to join the peaceful PTI protest. I was totally amazed to see so many Pakistanis, rich, poor, old, young, friends and families, all heading to the location for a peaceful protest. I saw the crowd parking their cars and motorcycles kilometers away and walking towards D-Chowk. The police were helpful, managing traffic, helping the protesters, having friendly chats and even agreeing with the protesters. I saw a traffic police warden stopping a motorcycle that was carrying the rider, his wife, his elderly mother and one kid. And instead of fining the driver, the police opened a closed road and told the rider to use that road as it was safer.

Even at the protest camp in D-Chowk, I was amazed to see so many Pakistani’s gather at one small place. There was no pushing or shoving, people were respectful towards women and children, no one was throwing rubbish and no one was being insulted. There were hawkers selling food, water, flags, hats, banners, headbands and other items. Families with kids were walking among the crowds without any problem. When Imran Khan announced that he would move the protest to PM House, he also told everyone, that women and children should stay there or go home. He ordered everyone not to be violent or damage Pakistani property. He even asked the Police officials not to attack, as this was a peaceful protest.

During all this time I noticed that no police personnel was getting ready to fight, they were all sitting around, having food, chatting with protesters or among themselves. The police personnel did not have any batons, shields or tear gas guns. Therefore I was surprised to see the attack on the protesters by the police half an hour later. Who were these attacking police? Which unit did they belong to? And why did they attack the protesters, when they were clearly not being violent and contained a large number of children and women?


Peshawar, August 31.