Pakistani-Americans Stage Protest Rally in NYC’s Times Square in Support of Imran Khan

By A Correspondent
Community members from the five boroughs, Long Island, New Jersey and Connecticut attended the protest rally.
[responsivevoice_button] Hundreds of Pakistani Americans converged on New York City’s world-famed Times Square on Tuesday night (March 21) to protest massive human rights violations in Pakistan. “Overseas Pakistanis gathered at New York Times Square on March 21, 2023 to protest against the brutal, fascist tactics & blatant human rights violations perpetrated by the imposed regime,” said PTI USA in a tweet.

Turnout was impressive given that the protest was organized on short notice on a working day when commuting to Manhattan is challenging. Hundreds of Pakistani Americans from Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, Long Island and even as far as Philadelphia joined the rare protest by Pakistanis against their own government. In the past, Pakistanis have been staging protests against India and in support of Kashmiris in Times Square.

Hundreds of men, and women of all ages and political shades, and even children joined the protest to express their anger and anguish over the deteriorating human rights situation, shrinking civil liberties, and the state’s brutal crackdown on free speech and media. They were carrying placards inscribed with slogans such as “We all are Imran Khan”, “Pakistan’s democracy is bleeding”, “We condemn state terrorism in Pakistan”, “Release Siddique Jan”, Release Hassan Niazi, “Vego Dalay Namanzoor” etc. Many of the protesters raised vociferous slogans in support of Imran Khan and condemned the PDM government and even Pakistan’s secret agencies. Some protesters were also carrying photos of Zille Shah, the mentally challenged PTI worker who was recently murdered allegedly by state agencies in Lahore.

The protest was organized by PTI’s local leaders, including Amjad Nawaz and Sam Khan who mobilized the community on very short notice. It was the largest demonstration organized by Pakistani Americans so far. Earlier, protest rallies were reported from Washington DC and Houston.

 “Imran Khan is the real leader of Pakistan and InshaAllah he will return to power,” said one elderly wheelchair-bound elder Pakistani American protester who called PDM leaders criminals and corrupt.

Pakistani community is increasingly mobilizing in the United States to urge elected officials to press the Biden administration to hold Islamabad accountable for taking away Pakistanis’ democratic rights, denying them civil liberties and launching a fascist policy to suppress Imran Khan and his Pakistan Tehrik e Innsaf party. PTI USA has prepared special videos and whitepapers to share with US officials to highlight human rights violations.

Glimpses of protests (Photos courtesy PTI USA)

 

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