For the last couple of days, people in Abbottabad, were protesting against the Change of the NWFP Province Name. There has been some peaceful rallies in the recent past: the worst that had happened was the road block. Due to these rallies, the main GT road [Shahra-e-Resham] was sometimes blocked but there was no violence in this city in the past. Some senior people told us that there were never any violent protests/rallies in this city Ever: at least from the time when Pakistan was founded : )
Today is a very unfortunate day for people of Pakistan, especially for us, who are living in Abbottabad.
There were lots of violence activities in the city today. More than 6 casualties are reported. 100+ people are injured: some are seriously injured.
Today’s peaceful rally turned violent: there were several clashes between the people and the police.
The government of NWFP had imposed Section 144 in the region yesterday to stop any possible clashes between rallies of two different parties: but the clash started off between the police and the participants of Province Hazara Movement rally.
According to people and News Channels, there was some direct firing by police on the participants of the rally which resulted in the casualties and serious injuries. People of Hazara [Manshera, Hari Pur, Abbottabad etc] are quite unhappy about this direct firing incident.
On the other hand, the police are saying that they had to take this step as a small group of people were trying to increase the violence and they even put a police station on fire. Police said that: they took this action to stop further violence and damage of property.
Shops remained closed all day and people are finding it difficult to purchase groceries and other important things.
The protesters are against the decision of changing the name of NWFP [Sarhad] to Khyber Pakthunkhwa.
The leaders of this movement demands that the government should give Hazara a separate province status. Some people say that: if the name is changed to something like: Hazara Khyber Pakthunkhwa: that may also solve this issue.
As a resident of Abbottabad, I personally am in a shock and very sad indeed for the loss of many lives today. I hope tomorrow will be a better day and there will be no violence of any kind. Let’s hope this issue will be solved politically and with dialogue.
Update: After yesterday’s sad events, today was considerably a peaceful day. There were still some reports of clashes, but overall situation was ok. However, shops are still closed and the GT road is still blocked. People are protesting all day long and there are some reports of property damage too.