Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lahore Calm After Lawyer's Long March

After a day of protests in central Lahore, the city remained calm. News broadcasts showed the bruises of journalists and lawyers who had been beaten by police, but at least 100,000 people were able to gather for a march of protest.

Driving along Mall Road around 9:00pm there was little to let the passerby know about the current political crisis. Some banners were strung up in support of President Zardari, and others featured Imran Khan and his "Insaf" (Justice) party message. "Free the judiciary! Free the nation!" was written in Urdu. The streets of central and Old Lahore were busy as usual, and the only sign of the clash of ideologies occuring were a few riot police hanging out near the Press Club.

We went out and enjoyed steamed chicken and biryani at Tabaq near Lakhshmi Chowk. The only unnerving event was going to and from the car while being stared at by men on motorbikes. I'll admit I was a little more tense than usual, hoping that we wouldn't run across some foreigner-hating fanatic at an intersection. Our drive through Old Lahore and central Lahore was without incident, and there were many other families out enjoying a meal together or shopping.

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