More than 400 people gathered at Regal Chowk, in the heart of old Karachi, to hold a demonstration to protest against Musharraf’s ‘Emergency’ (which ironically, will be removed tomorrow). Demonstrators represented a large number of political parties and groups including National Worker’s Party, Labour Party of Pakistan, Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and many more.
When the protesters first began to gather, the police on watch warned them not to march to the Press Club (because of the ‘emergency’, rallies are permitted but not public marches). However, when the organizers did not back down from the original plan, the police decided to cooperate and escort the marchers to the Press Club.
The unarmed police — an unusual sight in this city — marched at the front of the rally and had jeeps closing off the end; this rally was a sharp contrast to the protests that happened last week in Islamabad, Multan and Lahore where protesters were beaten and arrested. Once we reached the Press Club, different groups gave out short speeches. The gist of the evening: its time for Musharraf to go.