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Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers and police clashed on Tuesday in Lahore’s Zaman Park area after a contingent of Islamabad police, accompanied by armored vehicles, arrived at the Lahore residence of party chief Imran Khan to arrest the former premier after non-bailable securities. issued in the case of Toshakhana (gift keeper) against him.
The party’s official Twitter handle urged supporters and workers to gather outside the residence and ‘remain peaceful’.
However, PTI workers reportedly started stoning the police officers as the police started charging the crowds, turning Zaman Park into a battlefield. The police allegedly used water cannons to hold back the PTI workers, with some being taken into custody.
According to sources, a heavy contingent of Lahore Police accompanying the capital’s police is also outside Imran’s house, and the police have blocked all the roads leading to the neighborhood.
Islamabad Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Operations Shahzad Nadeem Bukhari is said to have been injured in the clash and taken to Services Hospital for treatment.
The PTI also urged its workers and supporters to hold nationwide protests against the likely arrest of Imran Khan.
As Imran Khan and other PTI leaders appealed to his workers to stage protests across the country, the party workers started protests at various places in Lahore prominently Liberty Chowk, Babu Sabu Interchange and Mall Road.
The protests and the diversions set up by the police disrupted the flow of traffic on all the city’s main roads. The commuters faced immense pressure and nuisance while traveling to their destinations as traffic rush was observed on Canal Road, Ferozpur Road, Multan Road, Jail Road, Band Road and other arteries.
A series of organized and sporadic protests began in Karachi with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf workers blocking roads and disrupting traffic in several areas of the city.
PTI’s Karachi chapter said they have shut down or are protesting at least 14 different locations across the city. They include key routes and thoroughfares including Teen Talwar and Shaheen Complex in the South area, Hyderi, 4K Stop and Five Star roundabouts in the Central area, Mauripur Road in the West area and Dawood Landhi roundabout.
There were protests in the areas of Hassan Square, Qayyumabad and Rashid Minhas Road in the Eastern district, and the Star Gate area which falls in Faisal Cantonment and leads to the airport. There were protests in the Sohrab Goth as well and it is one of the main routes to the Super Highway.
PTI reported that its MPA Shahnawaz Jadoon was arrested during a protest at Native Jetty Bridge.
The road to Numaish was reopened to traffic after police dispersed protesters who had blocked the road.
There are reports that police are using tear gas to disperse protesters at the Pum Seren roundabout.
The flow of traffic on key thoroughfares was seriously disrupted after protesters barricaded roads with trucks and burnt tyres.
The protests in Karachi started around 6pm with people going home from work stuck for hours in various locations including Hassan Square, University Road and Qayyumabad.
In Peshawar, PTI workers gathered in front of the Press Club and protested. They also held a demonstration at the Assembly roundabout.
In Rawalpindi, PTI workers were directed to reach Committee Chowk to hold a protest demonstration.
In Faisalabad, the PTI workers staged a protest demonstration at Samundri Road.
Meanwhile, the Islamabad Capital Territory Police (ITTC) has said that legal action would be taken against those who obstructed the implementation of the court orders regarding the arrest of Imran Khan.
The ICT Police team had been in Lahore since yesterday to comply with the court orders and the Punjab Police was extending their support to it, said the Islamabad Police spokesperson.
He said the Deputy Inspector General (Operations) and the Senior Superintendent of Police were safe.
DIG Bukhari reached the scene earlier with an armored vehicle and a police team to ensure compliance with the arrest warrant.
Two police officers held placards, with the arrest warrants pasted on them with an inscription about receiving notices.
When asked about the charges against Imran, DIG Bukhari refrained from answering and said he was serving the warrant. He added that the media personnel would be informed where Imran would be taken after the arrest.
PTI leader Farrukh Habib also shared pictures from Zaman Park and claimed that Imran’s “life is in danger” and added that circumstances are being created to target the former prime minister again.
Habib added that Islamabad’s F-8 judicial complex was a “death trap” for Imran. The PTI leader further said that everyone knows about the repeated warrants and the police are working towards arresting Imran.
Earlier, the Islamabad sessions court rejected Imran’s exemption from appearance plea and restored his non-bailable arrest warrant in Toshakhana’s criminal case.
Additional Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal announced the verdict and ordered the former prime minister to appear in court on March 18.
Meanwhile, PTI chief Imran Khan has made an impassioned plea to his supporters, urging them to stand up for their rights and “continue the fight” even if he is arrested or jailed. murder
In a video message released on social media, he said the authorities believed his arrest would lead to the apathy of the nation. “My fellow Pakistanis, the police are outside waiting to arrest me. They believe that if Imran Khan is put in jail, the nation will fall asleep. You must prove them wrong. You must show that this nation is alive and kicking,” he said.
Imran went on to emphasize the importance of the Pakistani nation, and emphasized that it was formed on the principles of ‘La illaha Illalah’ (there is only one God).
“This nation is the Ummah of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him) and it was formed on the principles and slogan of La illaha Illalah. You must step out and fight for your rights and your true freedom,” he said.
He called on Pakistanis to stand up for their rights and true freedom, saying that he had been fighting this battle all his life and would continue to do so.
However, he warned that if something were to happen to him, his supporters must continue the fight and never accept the tyranny of the “thieves” who make decisions for the country, especially the one man who hold the reins of power.
“God has given me everything, and I’m fighting this battle for you. I have been fighting this battle all my life, and I will continue to do so,” he said.
“But if something happens to me, if I’m imprisoned or if they kill me, then you have to show that this nation will continue to fight. You must never accept the tyranny of these thieves, especially the one man who makes decisions for the country.”
Taking to Twitter, President Arif Alvi said he was deeply saddened by today’s events. “The politics of unhealthy revenge. The poor priorities of the government of a country that should focus on the economic misery of the people. Are we destroying the political landscape? he wrote.
He said he was concerned about Imran Khan’s safety and dignity like all politicians.
Former prime minister and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif taunted Imran Khan for trying to avoid his arrest, saying, “If there was a person full of courage and honor in his place, he would have drowned in shame instead of putting on this circus show.” . . . [outside his residence]”.
“He would have left politics instead of being accused of cowardice and disrepute,” he added.