Islamabad: As the news of Khan’s arrest spread, massive protests broke out in several cities across Pakistan. Protesters at several places turned violent and burned police vehicles and damaged public property.
For the first time, Khan’s supporters smashed the main gate of the army’s sprawling headquarters in Rawalpindi, where troops exercised restraint. The protesters chanted slogans against the establishment.
In Lahore, a large number of PTI workers stormed into the Corps Commander Lahore residence and smashed the gate and window-panes. The army personnel present on duty there, however, did not try to stop the enraged protesters who surrounded them and chanted slogans against the ‘handlers’ of the PML-N led government in the military establishment. Lahore was virtually cut off from the rest of the province because of the protest on main roads including the entry and exit points.
In a pre-recorded video issued by PTI after the arrest, Imran Khan said, “till the time these words of mine reach you, I will be arrested in a baseless case. This shows that fundamental rights and democracy in Pakistan have been buried. All this is being done because they want me to accept the corrupt, imported government that has been forcefully imposed on us”. The caretaker Punjab government called the Rangers to control the law-and-order situation in the province and imposed section 144 under which not more than five people can gather at one point. A large number of PTI workers also pelted stones at the residence of Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah in Faisalabad city. Similarly, protests were held in Multan, Jhang, Gujranwala, Sheikhupura, Kasur, Khanewal, Vehari, Gujranwala, Hafizabad and Gujrat cities.
PTI to challenge arrest in Supreme Court
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party announced that it will challenge in the Supreme Court the ruling of the Islamabad High Court which termed the arrest of its chief and former prime minister Imran Khan as legal, according to a media report.
“PTI will challenge the IHC’s decision to term party chief Imran Khan’s arrest by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) ‘legal’ before the Supreme Court,” PTI vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi said.