Numbers: Who had biggest march of them all?

Published: August 20, 2014
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According to the report on Sunday, the number of PAT supporters went up to 21,000 from 5:30pm to 6:25pm during Qadri’s speech and PTI crowd swelled to 18,000 during PTI leader's chief. PHOTO: INP

According to the report on Sunday, the number of PAT supporters went up to 21,000 from 5:30pm to 6:25pm during Qadri’s speech and PTI crowd swelled to 18,000 during PTI leader's chief. PHOTO: INP

LAHORE: There is more politics and less method to counting crowds and this has never been truer than recently when various security and law enforcement agencies were tasked with taking count of the crowds gathered by the Pakistan Awami Tehreek and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in Islamabad. The results varied according to agency and who they were reporting to.   

Though it offered varying estimates, the Special Branch (answerable directly to the Punjab chief minister) reported that the PAT crowd beat the PTI’s numbers with a narrow margin. On the other hand, the federal government’s security agencies said the Azadi March crowd was bigger than the PAT’s.

According to the security establishment and police, the highest number of Azadi March participants was 30,000. The Special Branch said there were between 21,000 and 22,000 participants. The Home Department reported at most 21,000 PTI supporters.

The Special Branch said there were at most 32,000 people at the PAT demonstration. The security establishment claimed they were at most 25,000 and the police and Home Department said there were 20,000 at most at the PAT Inqilab March.

The security establishment and police said 30,000 people were present at the PTI camp during Imran Khan’s speech during the PTI’s demonstration on Sunday. The Home Department however reported a 21,000-strong crowd the same day.

According to an extract of the August 14 Daily Situation Report by the Special Branch the PAT Inqilab March had between 12,500 and 13,000 workers at around 2pm. When the convoy reached FC College Underpass, the numbers swelled to almost 17,000 people at around 6pm.

The PTI’s Azadi March began with almost 12,500 participants. The number had swelled to almost 17,000 by 2:15pm but fell to between 15,000 and 16,000 people at around 10pm, the report says.

The Daily Situation Report for August 15 says the number of participants in Azadi March was between 21,000 and 22,000 at around 5pm when the convoy crossed the River Chenab Bridge.

The report says the number of participants at PAT’s Inqilab March was between 14,500 and 15,000 at around 1:35pm when the convoy crossed Sadhoke. The number rose to almost 16,000 when the convoy left Gujranwala. The report says there were up to 29,000 participants recorded at around 11:25pm and the number swelled to around 32,000 people when the convoy left Jeddah Chowk in Jhelum.

The Daily Situation Report for August 17 says the number of PTI Azadi March participants was between 15,000 and 16,000 from 2:30pm to 4:30pm at the Kashmir Highway in front of the Islamabad Sports Complex. The crowd thinned to almost 11,000 people between 7pm and 2:05am.

The report says there were around 18,000 PAT supporters at PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri’s address at Khayaban-i-Sohrawardi Road, Aabpara Chowk.

According to the report issued on August 18, the number of PTI supporters was between 7,000 and 8,000 from 11am to 1:45pm. The number swelled to between 18,000 and 19,000 during PTI chief Imran Khan’s speech at Kashmir Highway at 9:10pm.

According to the report on Sunday, the number of PAT supporters went up to 21,000 from 5:30pm to 6:25pm during Qadri’s speech.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th,2014.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • Ex-Aitchisonian
    Aug 20, 2014 - 6:55AM

    You really think it’s in thousands?

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  • Khalid
    Aug 20, 2014 - 9:27AM

    Now this news website is getting blind, dont be biased Tribune or people will start leaving you.
    Or did you get paid by some Khooni leagues

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  • Humbly
    Aug 20, 2014 - 9:43AM

    Its not in thousands , its in hundred thousands . Only a blind will fail to count

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  • Usman
    Aug 20, 2014 - 10:04AM

    What’s wrong with tribune, dawn and thenews…why are you anti IK and giving out false news and misleading international readers. My brother is there and numbers reported are in 100’s of thousands. Why don’t you focus on what the whole march is all about. You have one man who has stood up for majority of poor people. Support him to get rid of salvery mentality. Please grow up, you have lost me a readers. Maybe check your number of readers from your web admin. :)

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  • wondering
    Aug 20, 2014 - 10:38AM

    I wonder how they came to that conclusion.

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  • Usman Mubashir
    Aug 20, 2014 - 11:36AM

    I think this is a fair article, considering it reports different institutes reporting different figures. Personally I am not surprised that many believe the numbers to be in hundred thousands, but then, there are very few who understand the maths.
    I am supporting non of the parties, the view I have are strictly personal and un-biased.

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  • abc
    Aug 20, 2014 - 11:38AM

    total number of people in PAT march is 40 billion by Qadri :)

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  • salman
    Aug 20, 2014 - 11:40AM

    what ever the count is, it seems enough to topple the Govt. That’s what really matters in the end.

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  • Aug 20, 2014 - 12:36PM

    Dear readers
    When look the look the crowd from a distance even a 20000 people will look like hundreds of thousands if and only hundreds and thousands of people come in the streets of Islamabad the whole of the city will be filled !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Aug 20, 2014 - 12:37PM

    @salman:
    if taking a 20 to 30 thousand people topples the government every day we see a new govement

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  • Rafeeque
    Aug 20, 2014 - 2:33PM

    The first and foremost problem with these numbers are the sources calculating these numbers are controlled directly by the people whose interest is to show minimalist numbers.

    I remember a PML-N minister once promised there would be no more than 6000-10,000 people in PTI’s Minar-E-Pakistan March, the eventual figure turned out to be ’10 times’ more.

    If these sources are quoting 20,000-30,000 numbers, you can multiply these by several factors with eyes closed.

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  • gimbola6890
    Aug 20, 2014 - 4:42PM

    Lol. Those who disagree with these estimates should google pictures of tahrir square protests and many other . Even pictures of a concert of Miley Cyrus will open the eyes of these dumb people as to how 30000 people look standing together. How naive of PTI supporters to claim over one lac people. I thought they were more intelligent. Apparently not.

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  • Usman qazi
    Aug 20, 2014 - 7:36PM

    We are people who are immune to violence, lets be very clear. How can we forget waves of suicide attacks, yet we had no effect on our daily life habits? So, even a 1000 people equals a huge mob. Ask law enforcement.

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  • Zahir
    Aug 20, 2014 - 9:12PM

    It’s funny that people will comment on there not being a million people at the march, holding IK to the exact number, but no one speaks if PM has delivered on what he said he would.

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  • Truth
    Aug 21, 2014 - 1:44AM

    Imran’s march is serving him well as it has distracted attention from his failure to look after the IDPs.

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  • Umair
    Aug 21, 2014 - 7:43AM

    Oh come on! IDPs are just a bunch of greedy people grasping at the opportunity of living a life with no work, just like the IDPs of calamities before. They take and sell all non essential goods while gulping down essentials with no limit in sight. Rather than trying to generate income and showing restraint, they try to have everything thus making the situation even worse.

    Aside from that, IK should tell his ministers to give attention to KPK and not vest themselves completely to the march as they are losing credibility there and very fast at that.

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  • Muhammad Rizwan Ali
    Aug 22, 2014 - 6:42AM

    In these march, one person = ten people, like this the number os participants goes in millions….

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