12 May 2012: Ghotki (border of Sindh and Saraikistan)- Millions of Pakistanis (estimated to be two millions) belonging to Sindh, Sarikistan, Punjab, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan and other areas of Pakistan gathered in Ghotki, Sindh, to express their support for democracy, in particular for the Pakistan Peoples Party and its leaders President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.
Today’s public rally at Kamon Shaheed area on the Sindh-Punjab border is estimated to be one of the largest in Pakistan’s political history. The total number of people in today’s rally is estimated to be several times larger than other similar rallies organized by other political parties (e.g., PTI’s rally in Lahore, PML-N’s rallies in Lahore and Rawalpindi etc).
The National Highway from Sukkur to Kamon Shaheed is jam packed due to participation of a large number of people in the today’s rally.
Here is another clip contributed by Salma Jafer (@Chiltan). Barring the exception, Pakistan private-owned corporate media has done its best to ignore this event and we will continue to collect more video clips that highlight the verdict of the People.
Today’s grand rally has some important messages:
1. PPP is the symbol of federation; it is the only political party in Pakistan which is equally popular in all six provinces (Punjab, Sariakistan, Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan) and other areas;
2. Jiyalas (workers) of the PPP have full confidence in the leadership of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani;
3. Despite the malicious propaganda by right-wing journalists in Pakistan’s Urdu media and pseudo-liberal journalists in English media, most of whom remain politically and economically aligned with Pakistan’s military establishment, the PPP remains the party of choice of Pakistani nation;
4. The people of Pakistan reject Teen Jeem’s (3 Js) conspiracies against the democratic government, e.g., politically motivated judicial trial and conviction of PPP leaders in fake cases (e.g., memogate, NRO etc), conspiracies by rogue elements (remnants of General Zia-ul-Haq and General Musharraf) in Pakistani establishment against democracy, and malicious propaganda by unscrupulous journalists, particularly by those employed by the Jang Group.
According to daily The News, the PPP has selected Kamoo Shaheed venue for the rally, as it bears symbolic importance since it would be the border of the new South Punjab province and the PPP being instrumental for this demand wants to attract the people from the Seraiki-belt as well.
This venue had also been used in the past both by the nationalists and the PPP whenever differences sharpened among the provinces, particularly over the distribution of water.
The PPP thus wanted to give a “message” to Nawaz Sharif, as the slain PPP chairperson and former premier Benazir Bhutto along with the nationalists had held a rally at this place in 1998 against the PML-N regime that had announced construction of controversial Kalabagh Dam (KBD). It was on the same day when Awami National Party led by late Wali Khan had held a rally at Attock Bridge, the border area between Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, for identical purpose.
This fact was highlighted by Qaim Ali Shah himself during his chat with media in Sukkur on Friday when he alleged that by constructing KBD, Nawaz Sharif wanted to turn Sindh’s fertile lands into barren area.
12 May is the day (2007) when major portion of Sharea Faisal had turned into battleground soon after the arrival of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to address lawyers’ convention at the Sindh High Court but the CJP had to return from the airport after more than 40 people, including the PPP workers, were killed by militants belonging to Altaf Hussain’s MQM. Later, the same CJP turned his gun against the very party which gave its blood for his restoration.
“Ghotki is a place where both PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and PTI head Imran Khan held rallies recently and now PPP wants to show its political power,” said Dr. Ayub Sheikh, a leading political columnist of Sindhi newspapers. As the venue adjoins the Seraiki-belt, the PPP also wants to influence south Punjab voters, he said, adding that the PPP may decide to “replace” Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani when the clash among the institutions would become imminent or certain quarters would feel it necessary to remove Gilani.
Meanwhile, General Secretary PPP (Sindh) Taj Haider said that their rally was aimed at demonstrating active support for the “beleaguered” prime minister (Gilani) as well as for democratic stability. He said they expect that lakhs of people from northern districts of Sindh and southern Punjab would turn up at the rally despite extreme weather condition, “as Jiyalas could not be deterred by heat”. To a question as to why May 12 was selected for the rally, the senior PPP leader said: “This day holds significance for the party as out of 49 slain people 18 belonged to the PPP”. He said they wanted to show that it were their (PPP) workers who sacrificed their lives for the restoration of the judiciary but now the PPP itself has become a “victim” of the superior judiciary. To another question, Taj Haider said that Benazir Bhutto had led a march at Kamoo Shaheed against the KBD for the sake of the federation as the controversial dam had been a cause of major friction among the provinces. “Now, our purpose is also the same i.e. to strengthen the federation,” he added. (Source)
Some comments from Twitter
Maula Bux Thadani @MaulaBuksh
Corporate media doing its best to ingnore what is shaping up to be a giant #PPP rally despite temperatures over 40 C.
CM Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah Addressing PPP Jalsa of around 2 Million Jiyalas at Kamoon Shaheed, Ghotki — The… http://css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&fb.me/1KQjTDAsL
Muhammad Ahmed Tariq @Ahmedtariq81
PPP rally in support of PM + democracy. Crowd estimate 1.5-2 million. Jiyee Bhuttooo !
Farhad Ahmed Jarral @farhadjarral
CM Sindh at the Jalsa now — Kammu Shaheed, Ghotki.. Masses chanting and raising slogans Zinda hai Bhutto Zinda Hai.. Jeay #Bhuttoism. In the main, it’s just Larkana and Sukkur Division who r out 2 attend Jalsa, If all Sindh comes out then Mian Brothers won’t find place 2 run again! #PPP
Assad Zulfiqar Khan
So it would seem that the PPP can get more people to a rally in a town like Ghotki than IK can get in Islamabad.
Mirza Afaq Sharif
Its 41 Celsius in Ghotki !! and million people are in unhabitated area of #KamoonShaheed for PPP Jalsa
Hyder Khan Laghari @HyderKhanLghari
hot weather at place of #PPPJalsa at #KamoonShaheed Ghotki but people’s gathering nd dancing on slogan #ZindaHeBBzindaHe
Asad Qureshi @asad_psf
#PPP today jalsa is going great with 20 lac people from Punjab and Sindh
Maleeha Manzoor @MaleehaManzoor
#PPP is unbeatable! Millions to gather at Ghotki – today! The place has been crowded completely, yet more caravans to reach there!
Bakhtawar Bhutto Z @BakhtawarBZ
“My nervousness drops, my apprehension drops. I no longer care for bullets because I feel in a crowd like this, no bullet can hit me” – SMBB
@faraz999 It was huge gathering even pres #Zardari & @BBhuttoZardari were not there, like MNS & IK. And if they come then imagine da crowd
Shehryar Riaz Sheikh @ShehryarRS
News from Ghotki : People, people, people in the glorious tricolor everywhere the eye sees. PPP everywhere the eye sees :)!
Saher Azad @SaherAzad
Today the masses have proved that the only Courts to decide PPP’s FATE are the Awami Courts. PPP Showed strength of 2 Million 🙂
Asma xoxo @Asma11m
So is everything alright with PML-N and PTI’s trolls after watching PPP’s jalsa ? Dont worry dont worry We sympathise with you 😀
PPP have support of the people, will win next elections as well: Qaim Ali Shah
Sindh Chief Minister and senior Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Qaim Ali Shah said that people supported the government of Asif Ali Zardari, and threatened a long march of their own, one which would travel to Lahore, and beyond.