PTI Karachi Lockdown: Strike, Shut Down or a festive protest?

Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf did a symbolic strike in Karachi in its second leg of lockdowns, dubbed as Plan C. The strike in Karachi, called Karachi Lockdown by PTI was a success on social media where it was trended as #KarachiLockDown. On ground, the response was lukewarm.

The on-going PTI campaign is against poll rigging and their main grudge against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, which makes them chant Go Nawaz Go, is the manipulation of votes during Elections 2013.

It is a documented fact that there was massive rigging in Karachi on the poll day and PTI was one of the affected parties. Their leadership made loud statements in the early days after election, especially against MQM and its chief Altaf Hussain. However, PTI kept a controlled silence against MQM during its recent rallies in Karachi.

It is said that PTI was able to do its show in Karachi by a silent approval and consent of MQM. Hence, December 12, 2014 was not turned out to be May 12, 2007 – the black day in history of Karachi when MQM ruthlessly showed its street power.

The Karachi Lockdown campaign was against Nawaz Sharif and they did not dared to say a word against rigging by MQM.

The government of Sindh and law enforcement authorities cooperated with PTI lockdown of Karachi. Rather than doing any attempts to disperse the tyre-burning, road-blocking protesters, police facilitated them by placing barricades and tankers on the roads.

police blocking roads with tankers karachi lockdown

PTI women supporters were active as usual, ladies were out early – sitting on roads to block traffic.

women on road in pti karachi lockdown

pti women closing road near hassan square karachi lockdown

Festivity and dancing was everywhere, people were jubilant as if celebrating a festival, not participating in a sombre shutdown call.

protesters dancing at 5 star chowrangi north nazimabad karachi lockdown

Imran Khan addressed the protesters at Sharah-e-Faisal near Nursery and returned.

PTI leaders were leading from the front, sitting on the roads,

arif alivi dharna

and then sharing a good laugh with the Police.

arif alvi happy with police

Dr Arif Alvi, Senior PTI Leader and MNA from Karachi, in lighter mood with police officials during #KarachiLockDown

Obviously, Karachi is not Faisalabad.

The lockdown was peaceful, if burning tyres and blocking roads with stones and chopped of trees is a peaceful activity.

Strikes and shutdowns are now a routine in Karachi. In past 10 days of December, parts of Karachi were first closed for Ideas 2014, then MQM called a day off and now PTI disrupted the business and daily routine by its symbolic strike.

It is interesting to see how a political party takes U-turn from its initial ideology. PTI used to be (and still is) a strong opponent of MQM’s street politics. They asked people to vote for them so that they can stop MQM from shutting down Karachi. Ironically, now PTI is asking its supporters to help them shut down Karachi.

PTI Karachi Lockdown may or may not affect the government of PML-N but Karachiites suffered a lot. Roads were blocked, pumps were closed, parents took their kids to school to find out that schools were closed for the day.

schools closed student and parents worried pti karachi lockdown

To sum it up, the PTI #KarachiLockDown can be aptly described as a day when 200 boys took hostage a city of 20 million.

pti lock down karachi

About Kashif Aziz

Blogger, Internet Consultant, Procrastinator.
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