Pakistanis quote from US history

By , Staff writer

Reporters on the Job: On Sunday, Islamabad was a capital barricaded against its own people. By Monday, it turned into a carnival.

I first saw the change on my way to the chief justice’s house when a policeman flashed me a peace sign. Even though it was 2 a.m., throngs danced and cheered as they climbed up the road to their hero’s home. At his hilltop home, Pakistanis from all walks of life had gathered to celebrate (read the Monitor's report here). Shabbir Hussain, a lawyer dressed in their “uniform” – a black suit – told me that he had walked 200 miles from Lahore.

The journey took him eight days and left his feet sore, but he said he drew inspiration from John Marshall, America’s first chief justice, who “made sacrifices to uphold the power of the judiciary.”

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It was the first of many moments that would have made an American civics teacher beam – culminating in the crowds jumping up and down and chanting “rule of law!” and “independent judiciary!”

I got my own Pakistani civics lesson as I asked about the half dozen different political flags being waved. At one point, a group held aloft a giant stuffed toy tiger. Many in the crowd cheered at the sight. The tiger, I learned, is the symbol for Nawaz Sharif and his PML-N party.

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