LAHORE: Participants of the ‘Save Pakistan Long March’, launched in protest against terror attacks on shrines, safely reached Data Darbar here on Sunday night.
The march organised by some groups belonging to the Barelvi school of thought under the umbrella of Sunni Ittehad Council set off for Lahore from the Bari Imam shrine in Islamabad on Saturday and after passing through Jhelum, Gujrat and Gujranwala, terminated at its destination peacefully.
The participation in the car rally, however, was not very high because the Punjab government had detained scores of religious leaders on Saturday.
In Rawalpindi, police barricaded the Grand Trunk Road and fought a ‘brick battle’ with activists before allowing them to proceed towards Lahore.
However, the rally participants did not face hurdles during the rest of the journey and were given receptions in almost every town and city on the way. Strict security measures were taken to meet any eventuality.
In Lahore, police cordoned off Hazrat Ali Hajveri’s mausoleum, known popularly as Data Darbar, at 3pm and traffic on roads leading to it was blocked. At least 1,000 security personnel were deputed around the shrine.
The protesters were asked to get off their vehicles when they reached Azadi Chowk and requested to go to Data Darbar on foot.
However, MNA Fazl Karim, former federal minister Haji Hanif Tayyab and Sunni Tehrik’s Sarwat Ijaz Qadri were allowed to go to Data Darbar on their vehicles.
Outside the shrine, the Ulema delivered short speeches vowing to oppose those creating lawlessness in the name of Jihad. They also pledged to resist repeal of the blasphemy law.