An excerpt from, "Pakistan Protesters March on PM's Residence" ABC News, August 30, 2014:
Pakistani police charged with batons and fired tear gas and rubber bullets at thousands of protesters marching toward the prime minister's official residence and the adjacent parliament building in Islamabad on Saturday, blanketing the route with clouds of white smoke and scattering demonstrators. Nearly 125 people were injured in the clashes between police and demonstrators demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.For some background, read, "Pakistan Prepares For 'Deciding Day' As Imran Khan, Islamic Cleric Rally Support Against Government" by Alroy Menezes, International Business Times, August 28, 2014. An excerpt:
The protest leaders, cricket-legend-turned politician Imran Khan and anti-government cleric Tahirul Qadri, had called on supporters staging a sit-in for days outside the parliament building to march on the prime minister's residence and the legislative chamber. About 20,000 police in riot gear were deployed to block the procession.
Both Qadri and Khan have given several ultimatums to the government but with little effect. And, in preparation of Thursday's protests, the Pakistani capital of Islamabad saw the presence of security forces in large numbers in the city center. And, while many expect the protests to fizzle out, there is a danger they will turn violent, Reuters reported.An excerpt from, "Pakistan 'soft coup' fears as army chief holds talks with protest leaders" by Jon Boone, The Guardian, August 29, 2014:
Since its creation in 1947, Pakistan has swung between democracy and military rule though the nation's army has always been a strong force in the country’s politics. However, the army has stayed out of the latest round of protests, calling on all sides to resolve the dispute through political means, and few expect the army to seize power this time around. Last year’s election saw the first democratic transfer of power from the military to a civilian government in the country’s history, and brought Khan from the sidelines to the main stage as the head of Pakistan’s third-largest party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
Pakistan's army chief took centre stage in a national political crisis on Thursday night by holding talks with two protest leaders who have been agitating on the streets of Islamabad for the overthrow of the elected government for the last two weeks.
Politician and former cricketer Imran Khan and a Muslim cleric, Tahir-ul-Qadri, left their protest camps outside parliament for back-to-back audiences with Raheel Sharif, the general in charge of Pakistan's 500,000-strong army.
Officials said the general had agreed to mediate in a bitter stand-off between the government, Khan and Qadri – who have brought thousands of their followers to Islamabad.
II. Some Different Views On The Popular Uprising In Pakistan
An excerpt from, "The Pretender to Pakistan's Throne" by Mosharraf Zaidi, Foreign Policy, August 28, 2014:
Khan may be the world's oldest teenager, with a captive national audience. He thumbs his nose at political niceties and employs an invective that dumbs down the discourse. Like Justin Bieber, Khan focuses on electrifying the urban youth who genuinely believe him to be a messianic solution to the disenchantment they feel about their country. And Khan's understanding of Pakistan's problems is probably only slightly more sophisticated than Bieber's. Khan does not have the policy chops to fix what ails Pakistan: The crux of his efforts during these few weeks has been that he, not Sharif, should be prime minister.An excerpt from, "An Open Letter to the Critics of Imran Khan" by Ammarah Aftab, Huffington Post, August 20, 2014:
Sharif is a known entity and one easy to tame. Khan is wild and unpredictable. He proudly calls his supporters junoonis -- or "crazies." The military might enjoy the troubles Khan gives the prime minister, but it is unlikely to tie its institutional fortunes to unstable and irresponsible political actors like Khan. Pakistani democracy under Sharif will continue to muddle along as it has in the past. Pakistan optimists will be disappointed, because this crisis is unquestionably a setback for democrats. But things could be worse. For now, the most Khan is likely to achieve in challenging Sharif is further strengthening the military's already strong hold on key decisions guiding the country's future.
And while we are at it, Imran Khan did not lose any support from the masses as propagated by some very biased media channels.If that would have been the case, a profuse amount of educated Pakistanis would not have kept on participating in the protests in this heat and humidity. Neither would the government need to use containers to stop civilians from entering Islamabad to take part in the protest. These protesters are not coming out of their houses merely due to a feeling driven by some blind love for Imran Khan.They are coming out to put an end to the incessant practices of corrupt leaders in our country.A comment by the YouTube user 'PeerRambo Haq' that was posted in the comment section of the video, "Imran Khan Full Speech - 24 August 2014 - 9pm - Imran Khan Latest Speech Azadi March":
I feel so much pity for those who are disturbed by the turmoil occurring as a byproduct of this beautiful movement. But not because of their discomfort. Just because they fail to recognize that this long march which they so insensitively pin as a nuisance is actually fighting for their rights... for their mandate.
And finally for those worried souls who are petrified of the image of our country being put forward in the world by this long march? I flounder to grasp the message you are complaining about for all I see is an alive nation who is finally willing to stand up for themselves and change the system.
Nawaz Sharif’s regime (the party of fat cats) and its Allies is the present lackey/stooge of the West in Pakistan and not the party which adheres indeed to the motto: ‘’Government by the Pakistani people, of the Pakistani people & for the Pakistani people’’.
Until Imran Khan/Dr Tahir Qadri appeared on the horizon and came into the limelight many like me considered Democracy since 1947 in the hands of unscrupulous/fake Politicians.
Democracy in Pakistan has been swamped by hypocrites and corrupt politicians. They only parrot the name of democracy but either do not know the ABC of it or exploit it for evil/selfish/ulterior motives. Present state of the poor Democracy is due to unscrupulous politicians. Imran Khan and Dr Tahir-ul-Quadri are the only two credible Politicians who can give true intrinsic value to Democracy/Parliament and free/fair and impartial election system.
Presently (since 14th Aug.2014 to date ) and for the first time since independence, the entire nation ought to support the campaign lead by Imran/Dr Tahir and put back Pakistan onto the rails/track of stability/progress, true & genuine Democracy and civilized world.
At Washington’s behest, the government of Pakistan is conducting war against its own people, killing many and forcing others to flee their homes and lands. The Pakistani government’s war against its own citizens has caused military expenses to soar, putting Pakistan’s budget deep in the red. Deputy US Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin ordered the Pakistani government to raise taxes to pay for the war against its own people. The puppet ruler, Asif Ali Zardari, complied with his American master’s orders. Zardari declared a broad-based value added tax on virtually all goods and most services in Pakistan. Thus, Pakistanis are forced to finance a war against themselves. Nawaz Sharif’s regime (the party of fat cats) is the present lackey/stooge of the West in Pakistan.