Thousands of people attend PAT demonstrations, express solidarity with armed forces
Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) today staged demonstrations at the district level in all major cities to express solidarity with the armed forces and for protection of the state of Pakistan. Thousands of men and women attended these demonstrations which were held in front of the press clubs. The hundreds of thousands of people, thus, expressed their solidarity with and support for the armed forces. The demonstrators were carrying placards and banners with various slogans written in them such as ‘No to conspiracies against the state of Pakistan’, ‘No to army-bashing campaign’, ‘No to conspiracy to weaken the defense institutions’, ‘the nation stands by the armed forces’, and ‘Tribute to the sacrifices of the armed forces’.
The major demonstration that took place under the banner of PAT Lahore was led by PAT central Secretary General Khurram Nawaz Gandapur, whereas the leaders of the PAT Lahore chapter including Irshad Tahir, Hafiz Ghulam Farid, Afzal Gujjar were also present at the occasion.
Addressing the thousands of the demonstrators, PAT Secretary General Khurram Nawaz Gandapur said that Pakistan’s security and stability and the people’s prosperity were linked to respect and honour of the armed forces. He said that the entire nation stood shoulder to shoulder with their armed forces for the sake of protection of the state of Pakistan. He said that no one would be allowed to cast any aspersion on the armed forces. He said that the present government wanted to demolish the state institutions to establish dynastic raj and described this practice as a grave conspiracy against the country’s stability. He said that intentional silence of those who got the ads of ‘rogue army’ published in the past on the fresh campaign against the armed forces proved that they wanted to browbeat the armed forces into submission. He said that the Pakistan armed forces were known for their professionalism and superior fighting skills the world over, adding that the government’s attitude towards this great institution was worthy of condemnation.
PAT Secretary General said that anti-army venomous campaign launched by some of the ministers was part of the government’s policy. He said that the army-bashing angered the people of Pakistan. He said that attendance of hundreds of thousands of people in the countrywide demonstrations of PAT on the call of Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri was a manifestation of their solidarity with and love for the armed forces. He warned that if the anti-state elements tried to spew more venom against the armed forces, the people would not forgive them.
Khurram Nawaz Gandapur said that he who sullies the image of the armed forces of Pakistan could not be patriotic. He said that PAT leader Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri believed in strengthening the state institutions and harmonious relationship among them. He said that attempt to undermine any state institution was a step against the very existence of Pakistan. He said that any such attitude of the government would not be tolerated at all. He further stated that the armed forces were responsible for the protection of the country’s frontiers. He asked the government to desist from any step in this regard if it ever entertained any notion against the territorial and ideological frontiers of the country, adding that otherwise every child of the country would be standing shoulder to shoulder with their armed forces.
Speaking at the occasion, Chaudhry Afzal Gujjar, the leader of PAT Lahore, condemned the government’s silence on the anti-army campaign run by a section of media. He said that the Chief of the Army Staff represented the nation’s aspirations and emotions when he visited the headquarters of ISI. He said that the army chief did what the nation expected had expected of him.
Muhammad Irshad Tahir, Amir of MQI Lahore, said at the occasion that the style of governance displayed by the present rulers so far made it clear that they did not learn any lesson from the past and were adamant to repeat the old mistakes. He said that the government’s performance over a period of ten months showed that only a handful of close family members were deciding the destiny of the nation. He said that dictatorship of one family was intact in the guise of democracy that did not even hesitate to compromise the national security by seeking to browbeat the organized institution of the state into submission. He said that the deadline of June 30 had also be been given for sell-out of the state-owned entities among their cronies and friends.
Pictorial highlights of demonstrations held in Lahore and other cities
Pind Dadan Khan
Mirpur Khas (Sindh)
Lahore (More pictures)