- Tahirul Qadri’s demands and tactics were far from justifiable. His demands that justice be done to the victims of the Model Town tragedy and the report thereof be made public are legitimate.
However, his haughty proclamations that he would bring down the PML-N government and destroy it as a political party are untenable and regrettable. The venue — The Mall — chosen for the protest implied that Dr. Qadri intended to unleash disruption, inconvenience and mayhem for the people of Lahore. That was utterly condemnable.
This amounted to punishing people for the alleged crimes of the government. It was tantamount to violating the rights of these people in the name of exacting justice for others. That sort of politics and protests are undemocratic, thug-like, and unacceptable.
An even sadder aspect of the protest was that two mainstream political parties joined him in this disruptive venture. The PML-N also deserved the blame as it failed to disclose and punish those responsible for the tragedy and refused to make the inquiry report public. But for that, opportunistic forces might not have got the excuse to bring the matter to such a pass.
The growing trend of such costly, disruptive, unconstitutional and undemocratic protests must be ended for all times to come. Specific sites should be earmarked for all future protests. Laws should be framed about acceptable forms and limits of protests.