“the government was not irked by the participation of a ‘few’ people in rallies supporting the chief justice. “Rather, the 200,000 strong pro-Musharraf rally at Naukot in Tharparkar can be called a referendum against opposition parties who have politicised the presidential reference against the chief justice.” (Daily Times)
In a separate report the Daily Times had this to say about Musharraf’s ‘referendum’ at Naukot.
Around 50,000 higher-ups of the Pakistan Army, police officers, district nazims, tehsil nazims, UC nazims, and officials from all Sindh government departments had been ordered to attend the rally. All of them, along with PML-Q office bearers from all levels of the party, arrived in Naukot on May 4. The higher-ups were lodged at government department buildings and in the houses and offices of the ruling party and its allies in at districts Tharparkar, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot, Sanghar, Hyderabad, Tando Allhayar, Badin and areas bordering district Tharparkar. Special arrangements were made at Naukot and Mithi by the Sindh government and the Tharparkar district government. Residence, food and drinking water was provided to the higher officials. Lower-level employees of the government department were, however, made to stay in tents near Naukot. Many could not sleep due to the severe heat, and because of fear of Thar’s infamous snakes and scorpions.
What an amazing referendum Mr Aziz!
The isolated desert towns of Naukot and neighbouring Chalhar are together believed to have a population of 10,000 men, women and children. For ‘200,000’ (I wonder who came up with this grossly inflated figure?) to gather in the wilderness to hear General Musharraf must be seen as a 'wondrous' phenomenon.