LAHORE - Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) rally aimed at ascertaining the strength of the party support base to meet the target of 20 million, for bringing a revolution according to the plan of its chief, could only bring hundreds of supporters on The Mall road.
Dr Tahirul Qadri who is running the party from Canada and wants to bring a revolution in the country said, “I will lead a revolution with the following of 20 million Nimazis for bringing a real change in the country.”
According to careful estimation there were around 3,000 PAT supporters including men, women and children who took part in a rally on Sunday in the provincial capital.
PAT chief has given a call for countrywide rallies to announce his agenda for the revolution and the rallies were taken out in 60 major cities of the country.
The Lahore rally started from Nasir Bagh and it had a thin presence at The Mall, with the video-link address of PAT chief from Canada.
The women participation was bigger than the men in the rally. The majority of the participants came from the nearby cities of Lahore while participation from the provincial capital itself was very thin.
A group of PAT supporters, apparently to overcome their disappointment over the poor show, engaged in a minor scuffle with the police at Faisal Chowk as they tried to bring some chairs and other things by crossing the barbed wire.
The majority of those who reached Nasir Bagh were women a;pmg with children and many of the participants were students of Tehreek Minhajul Quran (TMQ) run educational institutions and colleges.
To engage the participants in the absence of central leaders of PAT and TMQ, the organizers kept playing party songs on huge loud speakers. Many youth kept dancing on the tunes.
The district administration had closed all the link roads towards The Mall by putting barbed wire fences and also blocked the view to The Mall by erecting tents. Some entry points at Data Darbar Chowk and Lower Mall Chowk were open for vehicles to join the rally.
According to district management officials supervising the rally, the link roads were closed for vehicles to ward off the security threats under the prevailing precarious circumstances. Heavy police contingent with sniffer dogs, metal detectors and other equipment was present to ensure security on the route of the rally.
The rallying people led by TMQ Lahore ameer Irshad Tahir, Lahore Nazim Ghulam Farid and PAT president Ch Afzal Gujjar began marching at a slow pace and not as part of single rally, but in shape of small clusters of workers walking in separate groups. PAT secretary general Khurram Nawaz Gandapur joined the rally later, when it had almost reached Faisal Chowk.
The banners and posters inscribed with slogans for bringing change in the country were displayed on the entire route of the rally, besides big pictures of Dr Qadri . A delegation of PML-Q under the leadership of Senator Kamil Ali Agha along with party leaders and dozens of supporters also participated in the rally at its culminating point at The Mall.