With less than 45,000 participants (based on BBC, Reuters, and Daily Times), including 1,000 lawyers and their munshis, 3,000 madrassash students and Mullahs, 3,000 activists of Jamaat Islami and its student wing Jamiat, 1,500 workers of Imran Khan’s PTI, and the remaining participants brought by Pakistan Muslim League -N, the so called Long March (June 2008) proved to be a Short March. It started with humiliatingly low numbers in Karachi, Sukkur and Multan. It created funny scenes such as the Jamiat students beating up the pro-Imran Khan SAC students in Lahore and ended up with an ugly show of noise and indecency by a few thousand activists in Islamabd. Actually the crowd was so uncivilised and unruly that they also tried to beat their own leader Aitezaz Ahsan who was rescued by police. Here is a picture which shows that the total number of participants in the so called Long March was less than 50,000, a number one tenth of the claim of 5 lac made by Mr Aitezaz Ahsan.
The Long March June 2008 ended in a fiasco. However, there is solid evidence that certain political and religio-political parties as well as their representative media persons/bloggers tried to fund certain rogue elements (read Jamaat-e-Islami, Tehreek-e-Insaf, PML-N workers and other agents of the ISI) in the Long March and also instructed them to commit acts of violence against the Government of Pakistan. Here is the evidence (also note their frustration at the failure of their ugly designs):
Restoration of Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry or protection of terrorists?
A special truck customized to represent the illegal prison run by the US Army at Guantanamo Bay is seen to be en route to Islamabad along with the Long March. Some student volunteers were rallied across various student networks to join on the float as mock prisoners.
Long March and Pakistani Bloggers: A Glimpse
Contribute in Defining Moment of Pakistan
Filed June 4, 2008
SCBA allows bars to accept donations for long march.
Title of Account:
Supreme Court Bar Association
Account No: xxxxx
Name of Bank:
Branch Code: xxx
Swift Code: xxx
Please discuss and give suggestions for different ways to setup Online Donation or some other way that will be convenient for overseas pakistanis. PkPolitics management is ready to provide maximum cooperation in this regard. Thanks.
admin of the blog on June 4th, 2008 5:35 pm
The main expense is the transfer of money to International account, but I believe everyone can go to their local bank or use online banking to transfer money to anyone locally for free.
I suggest that we make small groups of 10 each and transfer funds to his/her account. That nominated person can transfer the amount to the International Account of Lawyers Movement.
We need to find a way to make the process transparent. Suggestions welcomed.
this is the student side of the ‘defining moment’. they too can use some money. so far they have 28,000/- rs or 250 uk pounds only!!!
Running Commentary on the Long March – From high expectations to frustration, 13-14 June 2008
Long March – Showdown Day – 2
Filed Under Featured Articles – June 13, 2008
xxxx on June 13th, 2008 9:36 pm
Zardari Tha !!!
PP Tha !!!
Musharraf Tha !!!
Dogar Tha !!!
Bhaag Zardari, Sher aya !!
Gali gali me nara hai !!!
Nawaz Sharif hamara hai !!!
xxxx on June 13th, 2008 10:14 pm
MiaN tere Jaan Nisaar !!!
Beshumaar !! Beshumaar !!
MiaN de naaray !!!
WAJJAN GEY !!
xxxxx on June 13th, 2008 10:15 pm
Musharraf ko !!
PHAANSI DO !!
xxxxx on June 14th, 2008 12:02 am
Why do I have a feeling of impending doom? A sense of foreboding?
Something must give. Something must happen. I hope the lawyers have a plan. Moqa bhi hai, dastoor bhi hai. Go for the jugular. If the lawyers disperse peacefully, there would have been no point to the Long March.
They said it themselves, we would not leave Islamabad until the judges are restored.
xxxxx on June 14th, 2008 12:16 am
The lawyers need to give the crowd a sense of purpose, not a sense of letting down. Seems like the crowd’s expectations have been raised very high. They really believed they have come to “mulk bachaa”….AA must give the crowd some purpose. I am trying to think what could be possible goals given to the crowd to make them a little tired, happy and make them go home. AA’s strategy of boring and tiring the crowd with speeches doesn’t seem to be working.
The crowd needs some sign of appeasement. What if AA told them to march to Rawalpindi? Or we have had too much marching?
Perhaps, they should present a list of demands to the governments with a threat of dharna and violence.
This contradiction in the lawyers movement has come to the moment of truth. The moment of truth is: Would the lawyers be willing to break the law to rectify a prior violation of law?
The moment of truth is here. Make a choice AA. The crowd wants revolution. Inqilab!
xxxxx on June 14th, 2008 12:22 am
If they make no dharna, the lawyers struggle will be over. It would have been infinitely better if Rehman Malik had not let them enter Islamabad in the first place. Would have given the lawyers a target.
Now the target is there, the presidency, but the leadership wants to stop the crowd from attacking the target. The establishment must be very happy.
We have come to the edge of the precipice and we must cross.
xxxxx on June 14th, 2008 12:38 am
We have almost perfect laboratory conditions to test who is an establishment guy. Everyone who says the lawyers did not achieve anything has sold out to the establishment. People like Imtiaz Alam and Iftikhar of Geo.
Whatever happened happened. At least the Long March was not a failure-to-launch. They have had spectacular success.
Now starts the media battle. The lawyers need to move aggressively and cement in the mind of the public the idea that the Long March was a great success so that the public does not become angry or disillusioned. The lawyers need to flatter the delegations that came from all across the country. The crowd needs to feel that it has accomplished something.
GM (admin of the blog) on June 13th, 2008 10:12 pm
NS on fire……..
Daikho Musharraf ………….yeh hay aaj Awwami Taqat……..
GM on June 13th, 2008 10:14 pm
All People raising slogans …………
great scene to watch…….
Musharraf ko Phansi do……………Phansi do………
i think people can hear it sittign in pindi even……..
GM on June 13th, 2008 11:06 pm
Some students (about 200)entered Red Zone
Slogans on there…..
ABHI NAEN TO KABHI NAHEN…….
GM on June 13th, 2008 11:06 pm
Some students (about 200) entered Red Zone
Slogans on there…..
ABHI NAEN TO KABHI NAHEN…….
GM on June 14th, 2008 12:27 am
AA speech up till now is disappointing.
i think Lawers have not realsied that people have not come here to listen to same stories they are lisenitng for long time now.
specailly for Youth, this disappointment will weaken the movement or will lead to uncontrolled mob in future.
Also why Lawyers did not unfold their plans to the particiapnts when they shahred all plans with Rehman Malik and co??
Are Lawers leaders thave started treating people just like Zardari treats his voters as slaves??
GM on June 14th, 2008 12:33 am
It was totally disappointing……..
GM on June 14th, 2008 12:36 am
This is definitely going to deflate laweyrs movement.
some thing fishy….
GM on June 14th, 2008 12:38 am
I think, from now one will ever trust any leader for even a short march.
GM on June 14th, 2008 12:39 am
i am really disappointed………
wat these leaders think that Azadi will be given in BHEEK????
GM on June 14th, 2008 12:51 am
Lawyers leaders made this success story to a complete failure.
Now no media channel is discussing 5 lac people………everyone is talking abt the confusion and disappointment……….
and it implies that in the end……lawyers movement has suffered a set back becos of this unplaanned long march,
GM on June 14th, 2008 12:57 am
Issue is not that there was No Dharna in the end…………..main problem is that participants were not informed about the plan when Rehman Malik was shared everything.
GM on June 14th, 2008 12:58 am
Shikar da waila ayya tay KuTTi mootar karan tur Pae….
once again same situaion fro Pakistani nation..
democrat on June 14th, 2008 1:36 am
donot fool yourself yar.
Look at the disappointment of 9/10 people here. thats what this long march has achieved. people who were denied of their mandate of 18th feb have lost this light in the end of the tunnel.
A Bastille, which was not meant to be?
Excerpts from Raza Rumi’s article:
THE enthusiasts for the long marhc towards Islamabad are justifiably feeling let down by the grand posturing, thundering rhetoric and the subsequent retreat from agitation outside the dreary citadels of power in Islamabad’s dark heart…..
The opportunism of individuals and groups jumping onto the lawyers’ bandwagon is also alarming. It is most convenient to have been all-powerful army chiefs, heads of the ISI and former honchos of the civilian bureaucratic monolith and once the party is over, re-christen yourself as firebrand democrats. The patriotic Hameed Guls, Aslam Begs and Faiz Ali Chishtis and the neo-constitutionalist Roedad Khans and right-wing ambassadors (who slept while Afghans were killed for strategic depth), must be questioned by the anti-Musharraf movement for it was their historical culpability that undermined civilian governance. Is it not important that circumspection be exercised while letting them be the spokespersons of the new vanguard? If Zardari has to be isolated then these dubious characters must also be questioned.
Perhaps the most worrisome aspect is the ‘activism’ of Jamaat-i-Islami (JI). Qazi Hussain Ahmed’s touted apology to the nation was just another political ruse. For most of Musharraf’s reign, JI supported army rule and participated in power-games such as the legitimisation of the seventeenth amendment. The PPP’s constitutional package enunciating amendments to restore the federal and democratic character of the polity is now being trounced by JI! This is cynical hypocrisy. History has still many questions for the JI: from the nefarious role in supporting army action against civilians in former East Pakistan to the jihad games of the 1980s and legitimation of another dictator, Ziaul Haq, whose shadows refuse to leave us. Another guest star of this movement, the fearless jirga-loving Imran Khan was also campaigning for the dubious referendum of 2002. It is still intriguing as to how jirgas fit in the ‘rule of law’ paradigm?
The Jamaat and Imran Khan are deciding what the election results were. Their temerity in doing so goes unnoticed — after terming the February election a farce they refer to the results ad nauseum. Paradoxically, they are rocking the system that has resumed almost after a decade?
The puritanism of the lawyers’ movement and pitching it against the civilian government is unwittingly making things easier for the invisible hand in Pakistan’s political marketplace. The establishment (that does not include Mr Zardari and his transient sojourn in the corridors of power) could not have it better. The crumbling of the PPP-PML coalition, the continuation of a distorted constitution and resumption of 1990s’ political polarisation is the best formula for business as usual. Hence for any ‘rule of law’ movement, the stakes are bigger than the individuals that the movement is targeting.
Thus the need for a shift in the strategic focus of the movement arises. What is wrong with a refined constitutional amendment if it is backed by parties and the lawyers’ movement? Once enacted, Musharraf’s exit will be certain. This would be an unravelling of the authoritarian insertions and triumph of the legal and democratic system. Justice is not restricted to benches with men of conscience; it also denotes the redistribution of power. Not just between the pillars of the state but also to the disempowered through political representation and electoral accountability.
The other, oft-repeated rhetoric is the route of confrontation. Many had hoped that the thousands in Islamabad would carry out a dharna. But that did not happen ostensibly for ‘lack of resources’. Or is it that the guest stars of the movement are not willing to take on the state? Bourgeois movements rarely lead to street battles. The right could very well be fishing in troubled waters with the tacit support of the faceless power-centres. The route of constitutional process and parliamentary sovereignty can still be considered over the unclear, dangerous path of confrontation.
Ok thousands gathered … burning up fuel of even more thousands … coming / flocking from all over Pakistan.
Result: ? I’m not very sure. Are you??
The pictures below (Courtesy: Khabrain) tells me a story of few tired organizers and teh health department now in-charge of fumigating the parade avenue. Sigh.
Hum Mulk Bachanay Niklay Hain??
The question is: Bach Gaya???
kaami on June 18, 2008: