31st of October, 2018. Wednesday.
It is Halloween. The western world might celebrate this, but we do not. It is simply not part of our culture. But where the rest of the world puts on scary masks and dons costumes, we have horrors of our own. They don’t wear masks, but they have beards and turbans, their shalwars always reveal their ankles, and are quick to sort out the people of hell and heaven, as if they were not the representatives of God, but God themselves.
Slogans are being chanted, cars and tyres set on fire, the roads blocked, all sorts of public transport is closed. Those who did not find out about the protest soon enough are stranded in universities and offices. Those who are brave enough to venture home reach after hours of delay with tales of terror and violence.
I was fortunate enough to get home on time before all the roads were blocked, some of my classmates were not. One girl who came from a nearby city has no means to return home; the city has been sealed by the maulvis, she seeks refuge at a relative’s house.
The Supreme Court has acquitted am illiterate woman in a blasphemy case. The woman had been awarded a death penalty in 2015 but inconclusive evidence couldn’t hang a woman unjustly. It was a rather shady case from the start, not enough witnesses, not a very thorough investigation either. A case suspiciously hyped for no apparent reason. The Tehreek e Labaik has always been sensitive about the Prophet (S.A.W), but so has the rest of the nation.
Tehreek e Labaik demands the generals of the Armed Forces rebel against the army chief. They also demand the people rebel against the supreme court. Death to the judges, and death to the poor woman!
There is an anthem that goes viral, “Na bijli dou na paani dou, bas Aasia bibi ko phansi dou,” (don’t give us water or electricity, just hang Aasia Bibi). It sends a shiver down my spine, so many people against one illiterate poor woman! So much hate, for one innocent person! So many people suffering, because the maulvis are determined to have one person hanged to death for their beloved Prophet (saw), the man who preached PEACE and HUMANITY!
The mobile service is shut down.
1st of November, 2018. Thursday.
The next day, the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan addresses the nation, telling them to stay calm in the wake of agitation, for the Supreme Court upholds only Islamic Law and the decision was made in accordance with Islamic jurisdiction. He also warns people of rebelling against the state.
At night, the petrol pump owners are worried. With all roads blocked and no way to supply their pumps, the fuel reserves are low.
Young men, armed, force the markets to shut down. People all over are now stuck in their houses, or others’ houses, glued to the TV screen, waiting for it to all be over. However, in the ten o clock news bulletin, all negotiations with the Tehreek e Labaik, now clearly a fanatic organization misusing the name of religion, are still unsuccessful.
Schools and universities are closed again. The board of Intermediate and Secondary Education postpones all exams and practicals to be held on the 2nd and 3rd of November. Some roads are opened.
The mobile service is still not available.
2nd November, 2018. Friday.
The motorway is opened. All major roads are closed. However, the motorway is closed again. Some people are stuck on the motorway, no way of going back.
The headlines show only the protests and nothing more. Fuel reserves are running out. Already, some of the major pumps are closed. Vegetables and fruit, meat, everything has its supplies blocked. Broiler chicken jumps to 220 rupees per kg. With a shortage of food, prices go soaring as there is now no one to check the prices.
Friday is already a high-alert day, but heavier security than usual is ordered particularly around the minorities.
Images of burnt rickshaws and motorcycles go viral on social media.
The Prime Minister leaves for China on an official tour.
A major leader of the Jamiat e Ulama e Islam is stabbed to death at his residence. 82 years old, stabbed 12 times during the fifteen minutes his driver went out. The motive is unclear; Maulana Samiul Haq was a supporter of the protests so the TLP are not likely to have anything to do with it.
The government and the TLP reach an agreement: the TLP stops protests and the government puts the name of Aasia bibi on the Exit Control List, the people arrested after the 30th of October will be released, the TLP puts in a “sorry for any inconvenience” as an afterthought and gets away with it.
3rd of November, 2018. Saturday.
Things go back to normal. The roads are open, every day life returns to the usual, people start worrying about the economy again as “130.5 rupees per dollar” flashes on the screen. Khyber Pakhtun Khwa announces a day of mourning for Mualana Samiul Haq.
Aasia bibi’s lawyer, Siaf ul Mulook, boards a flight to Europe saying his life was in danger and he “needed to stay alive”.
These are my personal opinions only, and are not meant to offend anyone.