Sunday, March 15, 2009

Calm is Broken as Lahore Erupts into Riots

Some time after midnight, police erected barricades across the city to block roads and prevent the lawyer's "Long March" from leaving Lahore. Today, thousands of protesters gathered outside Nawaz Sharif's house in Model Town. Sharif, then defied house arrest (which the government claims he is not under anyway) and started off in a convoy of vehicles towards Central Lahore.

Police are fruitlessly trying to hold back the throngs of supporters by throwing rocks and using tear gas. They are severely outnumbered and there seems to be no law and order. The convoy has so far made its way through Model Town, along Ferozepur Road to Kalma Chowk and to Muslim Town. They plan to arrive in Islamabad tomorrow in order to stage a sit in. Protesters have turned to rioters as they retaliate against police attempts to hold them back. Both sides can be seen throwing rocks. A barricade of city buses was set up to block passage of Kalma Chowk, and rioters smashed out windows of buses and tried to push them over. Sharif's convoy eventually made it through the block and continued on Ferozepur Road.

There are also riots at the Lahore High Court, and surely there will be more continuing throughout the day. I must admit that although I champion the security of Lahore, today is not a good day to go outside the house. The protesters are mostly men, and although their agression is being directed towards the police, you wouldn't want to get caught up in the fray. The only women seen at the scene of the riots have been journalists, whereas during yesterday's peaceful demonstration in Lahore more women were present.

Read more here:

Riots Paralyze Lahore an Protesters March Onward


SALMAN said...

Riots? This is not fair,
i am in the march.
There is absolutely no Vandalism or riots.

Hope you are not offended by my comments :)


Heather said...

Salman, please do specify where you were involved in the protest. The Model Town events seemed more organized and peaceful than what happened the rest of the day. If you have photos, video or blogs about your personal experience please share the link on this page so others can access it.

From the video footage I saw, things seemed to get out of control on Ferozepur Road when protesters torched police buses and smashed the windows out of the New Khan city buses blocking the roads. Any destruction of property, whether it was an obstruction to progress or not, would classify it as a riot. Also, in many areas police could be seen beating back the crowd with sticks and using tear gas. Both protesters and police were seen throwing rocks. In the English language, I would call that type of behavior a 'riot,' no matter who threw the first stone (the protesters or the police).

Those were the scenes that I saw broadcast live on different local news stations, and the testimonies of local reporters from those stations.

No offense at all on my part; please do share more of your experiences and add any links you'd like.

SALMAN said...

that skirmishes was actually negligible. 99.9% people in the long march was peaceful.

yes slogans were very loud but mood was absolutely festive.
i remained with the long march from model town to Ichera.

Its all over now, but you can see some photos of happenings in model town and around at

Heather said...

Thanks Salman! Those links are great. The only thing is that one site claims "no vandalism" took place. It would be better to claim that yes, some vandalism happened, but that the majority of marchers did not take part. Otherwise, it discredits the information because broadcasts of burning buses have been shown by the media.

I really liked seeing the kites flying in the videos!

SALMAN said...

yes, one should always speaks the truth.
but here it seems a prospective difference.

btw, You have a very nice blog.