LAHORE, Jan 16: A large number of people belonging to different walks of life on Wednesday held a demonstration in front of the Punjab Assembly for strengthening and continuity of the democratic process in the country, pledging not to allow anyone to derail it.
The demonstrators included lawyers, parliamentarians, civil society members, students and hundreds of other people.
Prominent among them were former Supreme Court Bar Association president Asma Jehangir, Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan and HRCP’s I.A. Rehman.
They lit candles and called it the “light of democracy”. They pledged that they would not allow anyone to put out the light, raising slogans against the forces out to damage the democratic process and Dr Tahirul Qadri for ascending from abroad to spoil political system in the country.
Ms Asma Jehangir also raised slogans like “Hum chheen ke lein gey azadi” and some others in favour of democracy.
The demonstrators were carrying placards and banners inscribed with slogans in favour of democracy, democratic system and acceptance of public mandate. Traffic gridlocked on The Mall due to the participation of a large number of people in the demonstration.
Speaking on the occasion, Ms Asma Jehangir said if Tahirul Qadri wanted to do politics, he should contest elections. By doing so the “imported maulvi” would know his worth. She asked Mr Qadri to go back (to Canada) by the same flight through which he had landed in Pakistan.
Addressing the anti-democracy forces, she said the country could not be run without political parties. People were democratic and politically conscious and would not allow anybody to derail democracy.
She said the country’s youth, daughters and sons and the “black coat” had guaranteed clean and transparent elections. She said the nation would not have to listen to an “imported maulvi” for three days had there been no democracy in country.
She said the “Mian Mithu Maulvi” had read the Constitution but did not read as to how the members of the Election Commission could be removed. If he had read it, he would not have talked about the constitution of the Election Commission, she added.
Rana Mashhood said the conscientious and brave people of Pakistan fully knew how to defend their constitutional and democratic rights. They would not allow anyone to take unconstitutional step and now change would come only through vote.
He said traitors would be held accountable through vote. The people were ready to save the democratic institutions and democracy. He said the sacrifices offered for eight years for democracy would not be allowed to go waste.