CIVIL SOCIETY PAKISTAN

March 14, 2008

Kurd revitalises movement – Traders start supporting lawyers after PML-N victory

Filed under: DOMESTIC — civilsocietypakistan @ 7:20 am
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THE NEWS

MARCH 14, 2008


Friday, March 14, 2008
By Wajih Ahmad Sheikh

LAHORE

OWING to the remarkable victory of PML-N in February-18 general elections, the City traders have dramatically changed their policy as they are actively participating in lawyers� protest rallies, whereas, earlier they had been strongly criticising such rallies.

Before February-18 elections, the traders used to condemn the lawyer�s rallies claiming that the protest activities of the lawyers cause huge lose to the business community.

However, now one can easily find a number of banners hanging at The Mall, the main route of the lawyer�s rallies, inscribed with emotional slogans in the favour of �deposed� judges and against President Pervez Musharraf.

A demonstration of trader�s �devotion� towards the movement aimed at the restoration of judiciary was also witnessed during the lawyer�s weekly rally held on Thursday, also a part of �Black-Flag Week�.

When the lawyers started marching on The Mall, the traders of Hall Road accorded a warm welcome to them on reaching Regal Chowk.

The traders led by President Anjuman-e-Tajiran Hall Road, Muhammad Shabbir Labha, set up a reception camp at the Regal Chowk and aired national songs.

The traders showered rose petals in large quantity on the protesting lawyers and raised full-throat slogans, �Go Musharraf Go.� They also released pigeons and a huge bunch of black balloons when Kurd joined their camp. Traders had also arranged cold drinking water for the lawyers to facilitate them during the rally.

Moreover, later the traders also warmly welcomed the car-rally of the lawyers at different points in the City. They offered them milk, showered rose petals on them especially Ali Ahmad Kurd on his arrival in the city.

It will be worth mentioning here that the newly elected PML-N MPA Rana Mashood, also a lawyer, remained leading the car-rally, who was earlier never seen in the year-long movement of lawyers.

A number of lawyers, who have been actively striving for the restoration of judiciary, are also raising their eyebrows on the dramatically changed policy of traders and expressing their reservations. �They all are opportunists as they always support ruling parties,� said a senior lawyer expressing his doubts on the traders� move. During the rule of PML-Q, the traders never bothered to join lawyers in their struggle, which was not of only a single community but the whole nation, he added.

Meanwhile, lawyers on Thursday took out a car rally – Caravan-e-Iftikhar – to express solidarity with deposed judges and create awareness, especially among traders, of the issue.

Led by Ali Ahmad Kurd, a rally of dozens of vehicles started from the Lahore High Court and concluded at Data Darbar after passing through different commercial areas of the city. LHCBA President Anwar Kamal, Secretary Rana Asadullah Khan, LBA Secretary Latif Sra and dozens of lawyers participated in the rally. Trader organisations welcomed the lawyers, showered them with rose petals and announced their support to the cause. On reaching the Hall Road, traders carrying black flags, welcomed them while some of them danced to the drumbeat.

After staying there for a while, the rally moved to Laxmi Chowk and then to McLeod Road, Railway Chowk, Nishter Road and Brandreth Road. Shopkeepers came out of their shops to welcome them and joined them in their slogans against President Pervez Musharraf. The shopkeepers had also hoisted black flags on their rooftops. After meeting the traders of Gowal Mandi, Nisbat Road, they reached Nila Gumbad, where businessmen burnt an effigy of President Musharraf.

Urdu Bazaar traders accorded a warm welcome to the lawyers as they had arrived on the main road to receive them. They garlanded them and showered them with rose petals. The lawyers were also provided with cold milk and food.

The rally then quickly moved to Data Darbar where another group of traders was waiting for them. The lawyers went inside the mausoleum and offered Dua at the grave of Hazrat Data Gunj Bakhsh (RA).

They were turbaned at the grave. After coming out of the mausoleum, the participants dispersed peacefully while Ali Ahmed Kurd left for the Liberty Market to attend a reception by traders.

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