RAWALPINDI: The PTI has started its countrywide protests against the attack on party Chairman Imran Khan. Earlier, the party leadership said that they would start holding demonstrations countrywide after Friday prayers. The party is staging protests in major cities across Pakistan including Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Quetta, Peshawar, Malakand, Rajanpur, Bahawalnagar, Muzaffargarh, and Kohat, among others.
Khan’s supporters are also protesting in Rawalpindi’s Faizabad Interchange against the assassination attempt on him a day earlier. Islamabad Police has been intermittently firing tear gas shells to disperse protestors in the area who resorted to stone-pelting on the police and Frontier Corps (FC). Meanwhile, Islamabad Police and FC have arrested several PTI workers in Islamabad. Murree Road has been closed to traffic in Rawalpindi.
Islamabad Police took to Twitter to inform the public about the situation in the twin cities. Earlier, protesters blocked Rawalpindi’s GT Road from both sides which affected traffic in the area. After workers ended their protests in Rawat, GT Road has been cleared for traffic. PTI’s women workers, on the other hand, left after protesting at the National Press Club.
Protestors in Lahore held demonstrations against the federal government. Earlier, PTI workers and supporters vandalised public property outside the Governor House’s gate at Lahore’s Mall Road resulting in a traffic jam before ending the protest, as the police reached the spot. Earlier, some PTI supporters jumped the Governor House’s gate while holding PTI flags in their hands and placing them on the gate, while others tried to trespass barriers placed by law enforcement. Meanwhile, lawyers of the Insaf Lawyer’s Forum also gathered at the venue earlier.
Demonstrations have affected traffic at Lahore’s Thokar Niaz Baig and Shahdara Chowk, as well as at Mall Road’s GPO intersection. Demonstrations are also being held at the Maulana Zafar Ali Khan intersection in Wazirabad, where PTI workers have blocked the traffic moving from Lahore to Islamabad. In Lahore, the party’s workers and supporters are being led by Senator Ejaz Chaudhry. Karachi’s Shahrah-Faisal has been cleared for traffic following protests.
Earlier, Karachi Police baton-charged and fired tear gas shells at the protesters on the city’s crucial artery to ensure their dispersal. PTI MPA Raja Azhar Khan sustained injuries due to the police’s baton-charge and stampede on Shahrah-e-Faisal. He vowed to move court against SSP South. “Shelling and rubber bullets cannot bring down our morale,” he added.
Police, however, said that around 300 to 500 protesters were heading toward Metropole from the Gora Qabaristan (Christian’s cemetery). The protesters did not stop despite several warnings. Finally, the police used tear gas near Jinnah Hospital Mor to disperse the protestors. Two hours after the clashes, the police finally managed to disperse the protesters and fully restore the vehicular traffic on Shahrah-e-Faisal. The PTI’s supporters were staging protests against the assassination attempt on Khan near Jinnah Hospital Mor. The police also took several protestors, including women into custody.
Due to the clashes, the lane between Jinnah Hospital Mor to Metropole signal has been blocked for all kinds of traffic. Another track leading from Saddar police station to the Metropole signal has also been blocked. In Peshawar, protestors gathered at and blocked the Motorway Interchange. They are raising slogans against the federal government and in favour of Khan.
The workers of provincial ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Party here on Friday held protest demonstration on the second consecutive day in front of Mardan press club to condemn the alleged firing on Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Party chairman Imran Khan. The activists were led by PTI MPAs including Abdus Salam Afridi, Iftikhar Ali Mashwani, Tufail Anjum, Zahir Shah Toru. They angry party workers were chanting slogans against the Pakistan Muslim League-led coalition central government as well as strongly condemned the attack over their Party chief. While carrying the PTI flags, the protestors declared the attempt as a coward attack. While addressing on the occasion, the provincial lawmakers said that such type of attacks would not weaken their courage. They claimed that they would succeed to win their fight of real freedom.
In Quetta, party workers are protesting at the Mannan Chowk where provincial leaders are also present. In Hyderabad, supporters are protesting at the Haider intersection, while protesters are also gathered in Tharparkar’s Kashmir intersection. Traffic has also been closed due to protests at the Milad intersection in Lodhran.
Workers are demonstrating at the Main Bazaar in Mansehra, while protests are also being held in Orakzai’s Ghilju Bazar Anjani, Feroze Khel, Headquarters intersection, and Buland Khel areas. In Gujrat, various areas have been closed to traffic, while PTI workers have blocked the Shaheen Bypass Road. In Bahawalnagar, protests are taking place in Rafiq Shah, while in Rajanpur, supporters are conducting a sit-in at Chowk Allahabad, Rojhan, Fazilpur, and Jampur. In Rajanpur, PTI workers have blocked the Sindh-Punjab border by burning tyres, which has caused a long queue of vehicles stuck in traffic. Earlier, supporters raised slogans against the attack on their party chief in Rajanpur where they have blocked the Indus Highway.