We were the first ones to reach the point of “Mian Mohrim Sultan” and from there started the day with stories of untold passion, courage and scenes of a nation coming together, putting aside all their differences.
1) The roadblock was an interesting one. An armored vehicle was blocking the small main road with the side ways (we will call them foot routes) all digged up. An entourage of armed security personnel was standing there, guarding the route. The picture below doesn’t do total justice as the trenches are not visible but it exposes the tall false claims of various Governments and parties in our country about not blocking the Peace March.
2) The local security establishments on duty threatened the participants with “roads paved with IED’s” all the way ahead at “Mian Mohrim Sultan”. The answer really summed it up all. Everyone said in a unanimous voice, “Yeh hamari zindagi ha aur is cause ki khatir hum ghar wasihat likh kar ayen hain” (This is our life and we’ve left our wills at home).
3) With the passions building, the local security establishment resorted to time-wasting negotiations. After almost 2.5 hours it was enough and people pushed through resulting in the inevitable, a cleared passage.
4) Prepared for “roads paved with IED’s” the foremost part of the caravan went through till we got stuck at another road-block. This time containers were used instead of an armored vehicle. The administration here again resorted to time-wasting “negotiations” alongwith warnings. Having learnt the lesson at the first obstacle, they were given a deadline of 20 minutes after which people pushed through. Passions were high, faith unshaken and patriotism at its’ peak. The containers went flying. This kept on happening till we entered Tank. Below is a picture of what happened to the containers used as roadblocks (taken from our vehicle, amongst the first ones to pass through).
5) People have been flocking all through the way but on entering Tank what we saw was unbelievable. It was as if the entire city was out on streets. Roads were filled with people clapping, chanting and thankful with tears in their eyes. Well, no words are enough to describe it so I’ll let a few pictures talk to you. Here are some pictures of sections of local crowds gathered to welcome the peace march.
6) After enjoying an unprecedented and unimaginable hospitality we were out of Tank and on our way to KotKai in South Waziristan. Our route was paved with more roadblocks. Police and FC were deputized to stop us. But the passion of the marchers was something beyond imagination. Though the security forces were extremely professional and bounded by the orders their hearts were with us, their fellow patriotic Pakistanis, for the sake of the noble cause. Below is a picture of a “stand-off” at another roadblock. I ask all the anti-march scholars, when was the last time they saw such a “stand-off”?
Mr. Omer Zaheer Meer (Chief Co-Ordinator, Election Cell (Punjab), PTI) alongwith security personnel.
We had a standoff with local Political Agent at point just kilometers’ from Jandola. He arrived accompanied by forces under his command who had put barbed wires blocking the road. The tigers of PTI remained peaceful as per Chairman’s instructions and thus set a glorious example. The incharge of the security forces on our side of the barbed wire fence got on a side and broke news that tens’ of thousands of people had gathered in KotKai, Wana and surrounding areas and this was the reason why Governor KPK sent the political agent with strict instructions not to let the Peace March reach Jandola, “even if heavens may fall”. He said that although he supports the cause but cannot clash with the forces under the command of the political agent. Still the passion of us all meant that the forces could not resist when people said you can shoot us but we will not go and even started trying to remove the barbed wires with bare hands. Blood dripping on the fence, telling our brethren in Waziristan and all other helpless innocents that they are not alone.
The result was that we overcome this obstacle too. Just than we were able to contact one of the contact persons who explained that since we’ve overstretched the time (we were suppose to be on our way back before 3 PM and even we in the furthermost part haven’t yet reached Jandola by this time) and looking at the speed of the caravan it would be dark and very late with tens of thousands of people inside a war zone. Mr. Khan took the decision a brave leader should. Having achieved the objective of highlighting the issue of illegal drone strikes and sufferings of the innocent on the Global stage, he decided not to put the lives of so many people in undue danger. We were asked to join the Jalsa in Tank. It was yet another display of discipline, where so many people, all full of passion turned to Tank at the call of their leader having full faith in his decision.
Despite all the threats and tactics, people of Pakistan broke free from the shackles of fear under the leadership of Chairman PTI, Mr. Imran Khan. The rulers and their cronies should now be afraid of the moment this passion descends upon Islamabad to break it free from the shackles of slavery. Entire nation and specially the youth are ready for the call.
Although no media outlet reported it but we in the foremost part of the historic Peace March reached within kilometers of Jandola where party workers and leaders alike removed the obstacles.
If you saw the enthusiasm in Tank where the entire city came out on streets, you can imagine what would have been the scenes in KotKai had the Government not used time-wasting tactis. The “Jalsa” in Tank was done in a rush and thousands of people were still ahead and behind the Jalsa. The nation should be proud of what we achieved and the bravery of it’s sons and daughters.