Cracking down on protesters only works if the cops take the incumbent government’s side:
In what analysts here called an unprecedented reversal by security forces, phalanxes of riot policemen here in Lahore melted away rather than continue to confront protesters who had rallied around the opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif, when he defied a house arrest order early Sunday.
By early evening, the sight of exuberant anti-government crowds in Lahore — a mix of Mr. Sharif’s loyalists, supporters of smaller opposition parties and ordinary people with their young children — encouraged people in other cities in the Punjab Province to come out on the streets
Mr. Sharif headed toward Islamabad in a long convoy of cars, with supporters lining up to greet him along the 200 mile route, said Ahsan Iqbal, the information secretary for Mr. Sharif’s party, the Pakistan Muslim League-N. He added that party workers armed with cranes were removing shipping containers placed as roadblocks by the police at junctions along the route to the capital.
Interesting times. The US is trying to broker some kind of accommodation between the contending parties.