Pockets of protest across the country

Published: March 17, 2011
Activists torch tyres during a protest against the release of CIA contractor Raymond Davis near the US embassy in Islamabad on March 16, 2011. PHOTO: AFP

Activists torch tyres during a protest against the release of CIA contractor Raymond Davis near the US embassy in Islamabad on March 16, 2011. PHOTO: AFP


As news of Raymond Davis’ release spread, protests broke out in most major cities throughout the country, turning violent in the case of Lahore.

A protest led by the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in Lahore focused its attention on the US Consulate in the city, and soon became the scene of a battle between highly agitated protesters and the police, who tried to prevent the protesters from forcing their way into the consulate.

The protesters pelted the police with stones and Molotov cocktails in clashes that lasted for hours and left 15 protesters and four policemen injured. Two police vans and three cars were damaged by the demonstrators.

The JI also held a protest in Karachi, in front of the  Karachi Press Club, which attracted a relatively small crowd. None of the protests in Karachi were reported to be violent, however. The JI is planning to launch a rally in protest against Davis’ release in Karachi on Friday.

Protests were also held in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, with political activists, many from the JI, who set fire to tires and chanted slogans against the government and Raymond Davis. Protests were held near the Islamabad Press Club, Abpara Chowk and Rawalpindi

Additional protests were reported in Peshawar and Toba Tek Singh.

Political reaction against the release was relatively muted. While the JI and PTI were very vocal in their opposition to the release, mainstream political parties largely chose to remain silent. The Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) could not be reached for comment. There was no official word from the Pakistan Muslim League, either the Nawaz faction or the Quaid faction.

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) largely presented itself as being a bystander in the face of a decision by the family to accept blood money. However, not all PPP leaders agreed with this view.

Former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, while not questioning the right of the victims’ families to accept a settlement offer, questioned whether or not they had been pressured into doing so and asked them to come forward and “take the nation into confidence.”

He also said that the out-of-court settlement proves that US claims about Davis’ diplomatic immunity were false.

None of the protests, however, indicated any opposition to the Qisas and Diyat Act of 1997, under which Davis was permitted to seek a settlement.


Published in The Express Tribune, March 17th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (23)

  • Kamran Khan
    Mar 17, 2011 - 7:50AM

    Take it easy guys and donot waste your energies now. This was expected from our beloved stakeholders.Congratulations to President, Prime Minister, Sharif brothers (who are now making drama of illness for their face saving) and specially COAS for making all this happen. COAS was specially given an extension to finish the tasks assigned by US of A. So he is making it happen to please his masters. Same is the case with head of ISI. Allah can save Pakistan only. Recommend

  • Humanity
    Mar 17, 2011 - 7:54AM

    Now hat the family accepted blood money and pardoned the accused, what’s up with JI having a fit? Do they have a problem with the Islamic provision of diyat?

    The hypocrite brigade are the most evil fitna!!Recommend

  • Billoo Bhaya
    Mar 17, 2011 - 8:21AM

    Protesters, You can’t do anything when your Government acts in collusion with foreign elements. All the Jamiat’s should eat Halwa in celebration of another defeat for Pakistani society. Recommend

  • faraz
    Mar 17, 2011 - 8:50AM

    Why are JI and PTI (modern JI) protesting; Raymond has been released according to Sharia Law. Recommend

  • John
    Mar 17, 2011 - 9:38AM

    Not sure what to say here, can any one help?Recommend

  • A. K. Zack
    Mar 17, 2011 - 9:41AM

    Our ppl do not have any work to do so they opt this type of protest. When the family of victim is not in favour and the Govt. Why we must look for trouble. Go and do some work and enjoy your own life.Recommend

  • A. K. Zack
    Mar 17, 2011 - 9:44AM

    Any one ever wow to clean up dirty drains and remove garbage in front of their own house. I guess no one will do protest to clean the street. Our beloved Prophet clearly says that. Neatness or Cleanness is the half of faith. But every one of us deny that without any fear. What sort of Muslim we are?Recommend

  • farrukh salim
    Mar 17, 2011 - 9:54AM

    what are they protesting?? the only people to protest against are the families of the victims,they sold the dead bodies of their loved ones for cash & american nationality.

    Not one of the media people questioned the fact that these same ppl were on tv for 2 months screaming against the evil amreeka,but then had no qualms in standing up in a line & one by one while facing raymond directly in the court say they have pardoned him in return for cash.

    Why doesn’t the media criticise the mother who was on all tv channels wailing & crying that she wanted raymond dead & now has taken crores of rupees & nationality from the same country that she was cursing on tv??Recommend

  • RizwanTKhan
    Mar 17, 2011 - 9:58AM

    Lets share the venues of protest so we all can join in hands.Recommend

  • Faisal Awan
    Mar 17, 2011 - 10:08AM

    ISI chief is sold out Pakistan dignity in exchange of 2 years of extension of his service, Shame on ISI and General Kayani and on all the PPP workers and on whole on Pakistan. Whole Pakistani nation is paying the cost of terrorism through its blood. Pakistani nation have feeded the Army and ISI not through hard earned money but through blood. EVERY DAY THOUSANDS OF POOR PAKISTANI PEOPLE DIE DUE TO LACK OF MEDICATION AND FOOD. WE EAT LESS FOOD AND WEAR CHEAP CLOTHS TO FEED THIS BLOODY ARMY AND THEY ARE SELLING OUR LIVES TO AMERICA FOR MONEY AND SO CALLED AID.

    Its time for Pakistanis to stand up against sold out Generals and Political Leaders.

    Wife of the victim committed suicide and her last words were, BLOOD for BLOOD, and still the court acquitted Davis under the Diyat Law. Court has ashamed the Pakistani Nation. Recommend

  • Mar 17, 2011 - 11:05AM

    This was apparently done on the “up and up” meaning that he paid the families blood money in accordance with the Quran and in accordance with local Sharia law. So why the protesting? Islamic and Pakistani law were respected.

    Pakistani people wanted blood…..not money. What a sick mentality that is so pervasive in this ANYTHING BUT ISLAMIC society.Recommend

  • sohail ahmad
    Mar 17, 2011 - 11:17AM

    I believe this is better that the victim family received the blood money and the guy is free –
    PAKISTAN is controlled by establishment- they all planed all this – rest the victim family were poor – all the political parties which are making hue and cry they know that this will happen and they never financially supported the families of the victims only were politicising the issue- if they were sincere they should started the fund raising campaign and they should supported the families and then these families never acted like this – brother just words cannot fill empty sacksRecommend

  • balochfreedom
    Mar 17, 2011 - 11:23AM

    this clearly shows punjabis are corrupt balochistan needs
    freedom now from punjabis who are agents of americaRecommend

  • Ammar
    Mar 17, 2011 - 11:26AM

    I am against all kind of protests, however for some reason I am lending emotional support to this one. Recommend

  • Zafar
    Mar 17, 2011 - 11:28AM

    Shut up you fools! No one dares go against Shariah! Recommend

  • bunny
    Mar 17, 2011 - 11:28AM

    Rizwan share on fb or somewhere….people see…anyways zack….what about illegal arms and espoinage…Recommend

  • Hmmm
    Mar 17, 2011 - 12:49PM

    Listen mates – the law of diyat is misused here in this case – i don’t know what the liberals and the ‘enlightened moderate’ Pakistanis have to say on the misuse of an Islamic law which was used by the Americans. will anybody table a motion against it? No, because it served the purpose of their masters.

    The Law of Diyat was not meant for the powerful killing the weak – it was as simple – because if that had been allowed, the kings and the powerful leaders would have gone on to kill everybody and anybody they would want – and pay the money. It was only meant in the case where a weak kills a powerful. Shame on the ISI. It is a pity that even the so called free media will not stand up and do talk shows against the ISI. Recommend

  • Hmmm
    Mar 17, 2011 - 1:10PM

    Protest today at Karachi Press Club at $pm. Please make your presence sure.Recommend

  • Kamran
    Mar 17, 2011 - 1:45PM

    The relatives of the killed youth pardoned Davis after receiving Diyat in accordance with shariah law. Now JI etc are blocking roads and burning tyres in opposition to the shariah law. Can’t they be tried for ‘fasad fil arz’?Recommend

  • Syed
    Mar 17, 2011 - 4:40PM

    @balochfreedom.You Indians just love to comment on news items related to Pakistan using fake IDs.Have gut and use your real ID.Recommend

  • Tahir
    Mar 17, 2011 - 4:40PM

    These protests have a bigger meaning than most of you think, its about protesting against being slaves of USA. It is a protest aganist the sale of Pakistani blood. I know you so called liberals enjoy serving america but majority of Pakistanis don’t.Recommend

  • Bangash
    Mar 18, 2011 - 12:03AM

    Not to worry, Pakistanis will just find another tamasha. World Cup quarterfinal is coming up!Recommend

  • anwer
    Mar 18, 2011 - 2:45PM

    The govt should have instituted espionage charges to hold him as his release was in accordance with Muslim sharia laws.Protests wont help the cause any more.Recommend

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