Peaceful Protest at FAST-NUCES by 400
Roaming around to look for a ‘Kasheeda-Kaari‘ material shop with no idea at all where it can be. Finally, found the shop but found myself hesitant to enter the small shop already over crowded with so many women shouting non-stop, bargaining over some glittering ribbons. I managed to step forward and hesitantly moved my head to one of the guys in the shop to allow him to see I am there too, but I was not that good-looking to get his attention.
Me: ’200 meter kala ribbon chhaiye’ (standing almost out of the shop at the stairs)
ShopKeeper: ‘Kya’ (moving his head from somewhere to see me, I got the attention !)
And from then on, I was more good-looking than anyone else in the shop
The bargaining over that stupid thing stopped ! Everyone turned to see who this stupid guy is.The shopkeeper did his level best to find out this much of ribbon, searching every where in the shop, probably only except his pocket but managed to find only 175 meters. That was good enough, I thought. Later, I hurriedly moved to the campus where some senior Sahics’ were busy organizing a peaceful protest against the imposition of emergency in the country. I got there by 12:00 Noon and was quite happy to see that people were looking forward to something like protest and were quite anxious for it to happen. A few already had black arm-bands, and a few students who had brought with them ribbons in large quantity (like me) were distributing them in the labs. I started to do the same, I moved out doing the same first in the labs where everyone was given those bands. Later at highway, people started looking for those like me from whom they could get the ribbons. It was just a matter of minutes that we were out of ribbons and half of the students still looking for them. We had already consumed around 600m of bands.
The seniors involved in organizing the activity had talks with the faculty and they allowed to have a peaceful protest within the campus after the Jumma prayers. So it was decided that soon after the Jumma prayers, everyone should get in ASAP and the campus gates will be closed, no movement in/out of the campus to insure security and to avoid any mis hap or another raid of police. A good enough and clever plan ! It was 12:30 when we had to go and get more ribbons, looking around for such a shop again, finally we got a few but none of them had more than a 100m to offer us. Later, we managed to get 300m from a shop who charged us double the original price and was a bit hesitant to give it to us too saying a few guys like you have just got such ribbons an hour back in large quantity, whats the matter ? We got back to campus and started distributing the ribbons which the students, staff and faculty (all) tied somewhere. Some at wrists, most at arms above elbow and a few even at heads. Some of the students put text like ‘i Protest’ on the bands.
I noticed the not-yet-black-ribbon-ed faculty members moving out for Jumma prayers and I got a chance to get them ribbon-ed too and we did so with all of them and they smilingly allowed us to do so, appreciated us and advised to spread the word to come inside the campus after Jumma prayers ASAP. As people started returning from Jumma prayers, the guards at the gate were already waiting to shut it down, btw they were ribbon-ed too. Students who are usually gathered over the highway as per normal routine of FAST were asked to move to backstage where the crowd was to be gathered to start some formal protest activity. The crowd started gathering back stage, though quite dispersed, were asked to come forward near the stage, it was at 2:00 PM that a crowd of 400 (at least) was there, ready for the action, seeming very enthusiastic and encouraged. Those with cam-enabled cell phones or digi-cams took the positions to capture the action. I found a nice place on the stage from where I could capture the crowd and record the audio of the speakers as well and asked a few guys to capture it from roof-top of BBA-Block (building on back of crowd) in order to get a top-down view of the crowd.All set to go !
The event started with an enthusiastic speech by a current student who discussed the issues with the current regime but failed to focus on the reason for this protest. However, he was very much able to set the ground for the senior speakers to follow and to cheer up the crowd who started to chant various slogans relating to the current issues. Later, a senior faculty member was asked to come up stage but he refused for some unknown reasons. Another senior faculty member, for whom crowd was expecting anxiously stepped forward and delivered a very balanced speech discussing the problems and actually telling the students why they were there and what is the reason for the protest.
The speaker said, “ We are not in the favor of CJ and we are not against the president of Pakistan. What we are against is the supra-constitutional mockery which the President and all his allies are doing. One thing that we should be very aware of is the value of the constitution even if it is a mere book of 11 pages. It is the basic agreement between the Government of Pakistan and the people of Pakistan, the terms on which we have given them the right to rule on us. They can not change the terms of this agreement…… they are breaching the basic agreement between the people of Pakistan and the Government of Pakistan. Understand that this 11 pages book is responsible to keep Pakistan as a unit….. ye ajeeb-o-ghareeb cheez hay k aaeni haq istimal kar k aaein ko muatal kar dia jaye, is se bara mazak koi aur nahe ho sakta. Ye aik aisa mazak hay jo hamaray sadar sahab ke incompetant sathiyoon ne unko sikhaya hay. Pakistan me baray se baray aamir aye, itna bewakoof koi nahe aya. <students chant harsh anti-Musharaf slogans> dekhaik dekhain, being the President of Pakistan , he is the pride of Pakistan, but not as Perwaiz Musharaf. There has to be sanity of the office, we have the right to protest against his actions but we have to hold the sanity of the office of the president. This is what a civil society is. Agar hum kisi ko gaali dain ge to ye civil society ka ehtajaj nahe ho ga….. hum supra-constitutional mockery k khilaf hain aur hum us chez ko kabhi nahe manain ge, kyon k agar hum us chez ko maan lain to iska simple matlab ye hay k agar mere hath me danda hay to aap kuch bhi nahe kar saktay, jo k aa
p wese bhi nahe kar saktay <crowd laugss and chants, Go Musharaf Go !> Go Musharaf Go …. hum har us banday k khilaf hoon gay jo us agreement ko breach karay ga …. ” and then left the crowd chanting slogans and clapping for 5-6 minutes.
It was in between the previous speech that we noticed a cameraman and a female reporter of GEO emerging out of no-where and started covering the event. We rushed to them and one of the senior Sahics’ talked to them and told them they can not air the videos or the visuals, however they can shoot and take opinions of people. This decision was taken as a security measure so that none of the students, faulty of the university itself be in a bad situation. However, the visuals were aired the very night at GEO Network.
Another faculty member then stepped up to address the crowd “mere students pehlay to me is bat pe bohat heeran hoon k hamaray president sahab ye keh kar aye thay keh me apko azadi dene ke liye aya hoon … me heran hoon unki is azadi par k aj hamaray ehsasaat k ujaagar honay par wo apne khilaaf ek baat sun-na bhi gawara nahe kar rahay S<crowd chants shame Shame>”…. aap muje ye bataye k agar insan k dil me kuch ho aur zahir kuch to kya ye munafikat nahe hoti ? <crowd - beshak bilkul> agar musharaf k haq k andar aap zindagi bhi guzaar rahay hoon aur andar he andar kurh kurh k apnay jazbaat ko apnay damagh pe de maar rahay hoon to pagal honay k siwa koi nateeja nahe nikal payega Go Musharaf Go and Musharaf ka jo yaar hay, ghaddar hay ghaddar hay>“ and then leaves , the crowd continues to chant slogans against imposition of emergency and restoration of constitution.
The speeches of the speakers can be heard at:
The message from the faculty members to the students can be summarized as:First know, for what you are protesting, protest peacefully behaving like responsible members of a civil society.
Later, the senior faculty members, all stood up at the stage and replied to the slogans chanted by the students and clapped smilingly and later waved them to disperse signaling the official closing of this successful peaceful protest against the imposition of the emergency.
The media guys continued to capture the scene and recorded interviews and opinions of various students. Later reporters of DAWN News and ARY One World were also there who were told the same.
The students dispersed chanting slogans having a feeling of contentment and satisfaction on their faces, setting an example for other students and youngsters to follow.
And btw, a whole KM of black ribbon had been consumed, as a close estimate !