LAHORE - Sunday’s PAT rally at Minar-e-Pakistan ground was not true to its leaderships’ claims of putting up a historic show with one million people.   If compared with its December 23, 2012 rally at the same venue, it was a small gathering by all estimates. But setting aside the claims, it was an impressive show with a modest gathering of forty to fifty thousand people. The enthusiasm of the crowd was however the same as in 2012 rally.  On his arrival at Thokar Niazbaig junction of Motorway from Islamabad, Dr Qadri’s selection of a particular route to reach the venue was apparently meant to attract a bigger crowd on his way. Ignoring warnings from the security agencies, he opted to move on Multan Road surrounding the congested localities of Hanjarwaal, Scheme More, Chowk Yateem Khana, Samanabad, Chuaburji and Data Darbar. He also made a short stay at Mansoora where he met JI leaders. 

The PAT chief was advised by local police to pass through Canal Road which was comparatively safer from security point of view. But there was little chance of people joining his motorcade on this route. The PAT organizers and the local administration also engaged in heated arguments over the issue for quite some time, but the latter failed to convince the former.

The selection of a route of his choice did not benefit the religious cleric as only a few became part of his procession.