LAHORE - The followers of Pakistan Awami Tehreek made the main gathering of the multi-party opposition show at The Mall, though workers from the PTI, PPP and PML-Q also participated in it.

The stage was set up at Faisal Chowk, in front of Punjab Assembly, and chairs for the participants were placed at the two sides of Mall road, from Faisal Chowk to Regal Chowk. The PAT claimed the number of chairs was 30,000 while the independent sources gave the number 6,000. More than 1,000 chairs remained empty till the end of the protest.

The PAT and opposition parties described the gathering in thousands against the independent claims of 10,000 to 12,000 participants.

Around 75 percent participants were the followers of PAT and rest were from the three main parties, the PTI, the PPP and the PML-Q. Women, children and elderly people mainly from the PAT were seen in good number. People from different cities also arrived to attend the protest.

Strict security arrangements were made by the police and all adjacent routes and small arteries linked to The Mall were closed for all kind of traffic.

A single entry to get access to the protest venue was made from Regal Chowk side where walkthrough gates were placed.

Containers were placed in Qadri Chowk (at front of CCPO Office) to block the entry to The Mall from Queen’s Road side and barricades were placed in Safanwala Chowk, Hall Road, GPO and the roads around the The Mall.

The Lahore Zoo, Wapda Office, educational institutions and other government and private offices, besides shops and markets at The Mall and adjacent areas remained closed due to security reasons.

The Rangers were deployed for the security of important installations. Emergency was declared at various hospitals in the metropolis for timely medical assistance.

A policeman named Mazhar Iqbal - deployed at the protest for security purposes - reportedly died of a heart attack while two women reportedly fell unconscious during the rally.

 

 

PAT workers made up majority of slim crowd

IFTIKHAR ALAM