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88966374 2be8963f d821 4cc8 9ef3 75a5ebfbc5c8 - Lahore: Protest Safety During Maryam-Nawaz Arrest

Lahore: Protest Safety During Maryam-Nawaz Arrest

Disclaimer: The suggestions and tips outlined in this article are reflections of our internal research, and not direct instructions by the authorities. Therefore, you should proceed at your own risk, and consult the relevant authorities in cases of uncertainty. Charcoal + Gravel is not liable for any of its content being misused or misinterpreted.

 

Social mobility in Lahore is restricted today because of the expected protest. The problem is three-fold: heavy rainfall, containment of major localities within the city, and the imminent arrest of a former Prime Minister and his daughter.

 

 

Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz are making their way to Lahore from London later this evening. The father-daughter duo has been convicted of corruption, and sentenced to lengthy prison terms in the wake of the verdict. As they return to Lahore at 6:15 PM today, they are expected to be transferred to Adiala Jail via helicopter, where their paperwork will be processed before they can enter the appeals stage.

 

Nawaz Sharif, through social media, called out to the PML-N party leaders and workers to come and support him “in his struggle.” Shehbaz Sharif has also expressed his intention to lead a march towards the Lahore Airport to show solidarity with the ex-PM.

 

 

Protests can be tricky, especially during desperate times. We have seen some rallies and protests turn violent in recent memory, and while we certainly hope that this political march remains peaceful, our track record would reflect otherwise.

 

 

AS OF MIDNIGHT:

 

 

  1. The Metro Bus Service has been shut down to avoid any untoward incidents.

  2. Roughly 10,000 policemen have been deployed across Lahore, alongside the Punjab Rangers, to ensure that the entry and exit points of the city are secure, and that the airport is not left vulnerable.
  3. There has also been widespread talk about the placing of shipping containers at key junctions to block off certain routes.

  4. Important roads, such as Ring Road Lahore have been cordoned off.
  5. There are also unconfirmed reports that cellular service across Lahore will be suspended 3 PM onwards.

 

 

Hope for the best and prepare for the worst, right?

 

 

We at Charcoal + Gravel have never sounded political horns, and we don’t intend to get into the technicalities and legalities of how and why the ex-PM was convicted. We do, however, care about the safety of our readers and their families. Many messages and alerts have been shared on social media platforms such as Whatsapp and Facebook. It is our responsibility as a digital media organization to nullify incorrect information while advocating for true and practical advice.

 

With all that being said, we would like to assist, however possible, in making sure that you and your family remain safe during this potentially dangerous time.

 

 

Please share this information with your loved ones to ensure a (more) convenient and safe passageway through the city today.

 

 

General Protest Safety

 

Protests

Source: AFP

 

What to do if you’re protesting

 

The freedom of assembly is guaranteed to all citizens of Pakistan. If you choose to protest or march in favor of PML-N, we would still advise following essential protocols to ensure your own safety; you want to make sure you’re not arrested along with the ex-PM and his daughter. For those of our readers who will be protesting today, there are certain safety measures that you should keep in mind.

 

For starters, make sure you’re dressed comfortably and carrying some sort of identification on you. Before you head out let your family know where you’ll be, while they may not be too ecstatic about it, at least they’ll know where to look for you in case things go south. In case of a clash between law enforcement officials and protesters, act in your best interest by avoiding violence. It’s better to run than to be tear gassed (that’s just common sense). Plan your entry and exit routes beforehand (use the maps below) and most importantly, remain calm.

 

 

What to do if you’re not protesting

 

Not everyone is politically active. In this scenario, we realize that a vast majority of our readers will be looking for safety and convenience over uproar. It is crucial that a plan-of-action is followed through and through. Here’s some internationally tried and tested tips to stay out of any unwanted trouble:

 

Pic12 030 1024x677 - Lahore: Protest Safety During Maryam-Nawaz Arrest

Source: AFP

 

 

1. Situational Awareness (Observe Orient Decide Act)

 

There’s no point being a sheep in a herd. It is far more practical and significant that you assess the situation with a pragmatic lens. Record the potential risk factors of the physical space that you are in; gear yourself up for unlikely situations by making the situation work to your benefit; decide on the best possible practice you could employ to improve your situation; act reasonably, practically, and with full knowledge.

 

 

2. Stay Home

 

Postpone meetings or meetups for another day and while we always stress at exploring the city, today is NOT the day to do that. The weather is beautiful; enjoy it from the comfort of your porch or terrace. Try this pakora recipe, while you’re at it.

 

 

3. Stay Informed

 

Whether you’re outside or within the safety of your own home, it is imperative to keep yourself informed. Stay tuned to national news channels for real-time updates on areas to avoid the changing nature of the protest/march.

 

 

4. Don’t Be a Hero

 

It takes very little for a protest to erupt into a sweeping mob, and you do not want to be caught up in it when that happens (inevitably). The best move is to stay clear headed, disengage and escape.  

 

5. Don’t Count on LEAs

 

Times like these, our local law enforcement tend to have their hands full. Additionally, they might just be focused towards self-preservation. Basically they’re probably not the most dependable guys out there, so you need to watch out for yourselves.

 

 

6. Stick to the Edge

 

If you find yourself in a situation where you get caught in the crowd, you want to make sure you have your bases covered. Try and ensure that you stay as close to the outer perimeter of the gathering, because that’s your best bet to make a convenient escape.

 

 

7. Know Your Routes

 

The only way you’ll be able to plan a quick and seamless escape out of hairy situations is if you familiarize yourself with the routes leading out of wherever you’ve decided to convene. For your convenience, C+G has taken the time to map out possible exit routes through major points within the city.

 

 

8. Don’t Panic

 

Panic leads to chaos, and chaos is the last thing you want in volatile times. Calm and orderly decision making cannot be overstressed on a day like today. Stay frosty friends.

 

SkyscraperCity 1024x768 - Lahore: Protest Safety During Maryam-Nawaz Arrest

Local Guidelines

 

1. Avoid Marketplaces

 

Marketplaces are easy targets for troublemakers. Couple this with a general sense of chaos and you’re looking at a very probable stampede. No. You don’t want that. Enclosed spaces mean limited exit routes and bottlenecks. You’ll want to steer clear of any situation where you feel that your freedom of movement gets restricted.

 

 

2. Keep In Touch

 

In the unlikely event of cellular service not being suspended, you should keep your mobile devices completely charged. Keep any power banks you may possess at hand; be rid of your shyness when asking for WiFi passwords today. The need to stay informed and keep others informed is key.

 

 

3. Carry ID

 

Not photocopies (doesn’t matter how high-quality they are), actual identification cards. Don’t drive without a license, which is a given on any day; and don’t think twice before providing this documentation when asked for it. Expect traffic wardens to be short-tempered and overly-cautious, so let go of your ego and save that outrage for another time. Comply.

 

 

4. Don’t Carry Weapons

 

While you may be tempted to arm yourself, out of concern for your safety or the safety of your family, it’s a terrible idea. With various checkpoints set up across the city, you’ll probably end up behind bars quicker than you can say #GoNawazGo. Don’t do it.

 

 

5. Shuttle to the Airport

 

Heaven forbid you have a flight today. If you do, numerous shuttle services are available, and they advise that you leave for the airport at least six hours before your flight. While emotional departures are a Lahore airport staple, we would suggest you say your goodbyes at home.

 

 

6. Keep Your ECS’s on Speed Dial

 

 

Fire Brigade: 16

Punjab Police:
15

Rescue 1122:
1122

Airport Inquiry:
114

Edhi Ambulance Service:
115

Counter-Terrorism Department:
0800-111-11

 

 

MAPS

 

We are blessed to have people with a whole lot of information relaying it forward in this city. Here’s some practical maps, so you know what to avoid and how to get from Point A to Point B effectively (if you absolutely have to leave your house):

 

 

1. Heatmap

 

There are potential protest spots across Lahore, and we have outlined them here for you so you know what areas to avoid (or go towards, if you’re protesting):

Protest Final 1024x893 - Lahore: Protest Safety During Maryam-Nawaz Arrest

2. Blocked Routes/ Clear Routes

 

We have mapped out the proposed closures and alternate routes in Lahore:

 

Traffic Coming 1024x865 - Lahore: Protest Safety During Maryam-Nawaz Arrest

3. Commute Times

 

Do not expect to zoom through Lahore today. That would be insane of you. Expect massive delays, as the Metro Bus is not operational and major arteries of Lahore have been temporarily severed. Plan ahead, and leave ample wiggle room to ensure you do not get blindsided.

 

 

While Lahore’s socio-political situation may seem uncertain today, you by no means have to be. Be prudent, stay safe and keep your loved ones close.

 

 

Disclaimer: The suggestions and tips outlined in this article are reflections of our internal research, and not direct instructions by the authorities. Therefore, you should proceed at your own risk, and consult the relevant authorities in cases of uncertainty. Charcoal + Gravel is not liable for any of its content being misused or misinterpreted.