Party members began stoning police officers as they charged the crowds with batons; the Islamabad DIG was reportedly hurt.
Workers for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and police got into a fight on Tuesday in Lahore’s Zaman Park neighbourhood after a group of Islamabad police officers arrived at Imran Khan’s Lahore home in armoured vehicles to arrest the former premier after non-bailable warrants were issued against him in the ongoing Toshakhana (gift depository) case.
Those who were gathered outside the home were urged to “remain peaceful,” according to the party’s official Twitter account.
However, as the police started charging the crowds with batons, PTI workers reportedly started stoning police officers, turning Zaman Park into a battleground. Some PTI employees were reportedly detained as a result of police using water cannons to restrain them.
???? تمام ورکرز اور سپورٹرز جلد از جلد زمان پارک پہنچیں اور پرامن رہیں۔ https://t.co/XcfxafBRU9— PTI (@PTIofficial) March 14, 2023
According to News point, the police have blocked all the roads leading to the neighbourhood and are joined by a sizable contingent of Lahore Police outside Imran’s home.
They’re shelling Imran Khan’s house too, a leader who requested everyone to stay peaceful and patient. Democracy seems to be suspended in the country, no? #زمان_پارک_پہنچو pic.twitter.com/nBuen0MYQc— PTI (@PTIofficial) March 14, 2023
According to reports, clashes left Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Operations Islamabad Shahzad Nadeem Bukhari hurt, who was then taken to Services Hospital for treatment.
Additionally, the PTI urged its members and supporters to organise nationwide demonstrations against Imran Khan’s upcoming arrest.
پاکستان تحریک انصاف نے کارکنان کو ملک بھر میں احتجاج کی کال دے دی #زمان_پارک_پہنچو pic.twitter.com/4Y5agYAOxe— PTI (@PTIofficial) March 14, 2023
While Imran Khan and other PTI leaders urged their supporters to stage protests across the nation, the party’s supporters began demonstrations in Lahore, particularly at Liberty Chowk, Babu Sabu Interchange, and Mall Road.
All of the city’s major roads experienced traffic interruptions as a result of the protests and police-imposed detours. As a result of the heavy traffic on Canal Road, Ferozpur Road, Multan Road, Jail Road, Band Road, and other thoroughfares, commuters experienced extreme pressure and inconvenience while trying to reach their destinations.
Protest in Karachi
In Karachi, there were a number of planned and sporadic protests, with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf members blocking streets and causing traffic jams in different parts of the city.
According to the PTI chapter in Karachi, protests were being held at at least 14 different locations throughout the city. In the South district, they include Teen Talwar and Shaheen Complex; in the Central district, Hyderi; in the West district, Mauripur Road; and in Landhi, the Dawood roundabout.
چئیرمین عمران خان کی ممکنہ گرفتاری کیخلاف کراچی میں بھی احتجاج شروع۔ حیدری ماتکیٹ کے ساتھ شاہراہ پر لوگ نکل آۓ۔ #زمان_پارک_پہنچو pic.twitter.com/HjKAW6DbRg— PTI Karachi Official (@PTI_KHI) March 14, 2023
There were demonstrations in Hassan Square, the East district neighbourhoods of Qayyumabad and Rashid Minhas Road, and the Star Gate neighbourhood, which is part of Faisal Cantonment and connects to the airport. One of the main entrances to the Super Highway, the Sohrab Goth, saw protests as well.
ہینڈرلرز کی کٹھ پتلی زرداری سسٹم کی غلام سندھ پولیس کی جانب سے کراچی میں حسن سکوائر پر عوام کے اوپر شدید شیلنگ ! #زمان_پارک_پہنچو pic.twitter.com/baGQnfzetS— PTI Karachi Official (@PTI_KHI) March 14, 2023
According to PTI, Shahnawaz Jadoon, an MPA, was detained during a demonstration at the Native Jetty Bridge.
Following the dispersal of protesters who had blocked the road by protesters, the road to Numaish was reopened for traffic.
According to reports, police used tear gas to scatter demonstrators at the Five Star roundabout.
پرامن احتجاج پر شیلنگ کرنے کا مقصد؟؟؟— PTI Karachi Official (@PTI_KHI) March 14, 2023
کیا اس ملک میں احتجاج پر پابندی ہے،؟؟؟حسن اسکوائر پر جاری عوامی دھرنے پر پولیس کی شیلنگ۔#زمان_پارک_پہنچو pic.twitter.com/w79zH6GnU8
Significant traffic disruptions resulted from protesters blocking roads with trucks and burning tyres on major thoroughfares.
Around six o’clock in the evening, protests broke out in Karachi, leaving workers waiting for hours on University Road, Hassan Square, and Qayyumabad.
PTI employees protested in front of the Press Club in Peshawar. In addition, they demonstrated at the Assembly roundabout.
PTI employees in Rawalpindi were told to go to Committee Chowk to hold a protest march.
ٹیکسلا راولپنڈی کی عوام بہت بڑی تعداد میں سڑکوں پر نکل آئی۔ ظلم و جبر اور لاقانونیت کے یہ ضابطے، ہم نہیں مانتے— PTI (@PTIofficial) March 14, 2023
In Faisalabad, the PTI workers staged a protest demonstration at Samundri Road.
فیصل آباد: زمان پارک میں غیر قانونی کاروائی کیخلاف عوام کی جانب سے ڈی ٹیپ پل سمندری روڈ پر بڑا احتجاج جاری۔— PTI (@PTIofficial) March 14, 2023
In the meantime, the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Police announced in a statement that those preventing the execution of the court orders regarding the arrest of Imran Khan would face legal repercussions.
According to an Islamabad Police spokesperson, a team of ICT Police officers has been in Lahore since yesterday to comply with court orders, and the Punjab Police is providing it with support.
He said the Deputy Inspector General (Operations) and the Senior Superintendent of Police were safe.
ترجمان اسلام آباد کیپیٹل پولیس— Islamabad Police (@ICT_Police) March 14, 2023
ڈی آئی جی آپریشنز اور ایس پی بالکل خیریت سے ہیں۔
پنجاب پولیس اسلام آباد کیپیٹل پولیس کی مکمل معاونت کررہی ہے۔
عدالتی احکامات میں رکاوٹ بننے والوں کے خلاف قانونی کارروائی کی جائے گی۔#Islamabad #Police
To ensure adherence to the arrest warrant, DIG Bukhari earlier arrived at the scene with an armoured vehicle and a police team.
Has democracy been suspended in the country? #زمان_پارک_پہنچو pic.twitter.com/3lrNChmfEU— PTI (@PTIofficial) March 14, 2023
Two police officers held up signs with copies of arrest warrants pasted on them and a statement about receiving notices.
DIG Bukhari declined to respond when asked what the accusations against Imran were, only saying that he was carrying out the warrant. He also said that the location of Imran’s arrest would be made known to the media.
زمان پارک کے باہر ایک بار پھر اسلام آباد پولیس پہنچ گئی ۔۔۔ ڈی آئی جی آپریشنز شہزاد ندیم بخاری کا عمران خان کی ممکنہ گرفتاری کے بارے میں کیا کہنا ہے ۔۔ آپ بھی سنیئے#ZamanPark #ImranKhan #islamabadpolice pic.twitter.com/AaDbytZh1R— Usman Khan (@usmann_khann) March 14, 2023
Farrukh Habib, the leader of the PTI, also shared video from Zaman Park and asserted that Imran’s “life was in danger.” He also said that circumstances are being created so as to retarget the former prime minister.
عمران خان کی جان کو خطرہ ہے لیکن پس پردہ ایسے حالات پیدا کروائے جارہے جہاں انکی سیکورٹی کمپرومائز کرواکر دوبارہ قاتلانہ حملہ کروایا جائے۔ F8 کچہری میں حاضری کسی death trap سے کم نہیں بار بار وارنٹس ایشو کروائے جارہے اور پولیس جیسے عملدرآمد کررہی وہ سب کو معلوم ہے pic.twitter.com/B7FAl1VFFV— Farrukh Habib (@FarrukhHabibISF) March 14, 2023
The F-8 courthouse in Islamabad, according to Habib, was a “death trap” for Imran. The PTI leader added that everyone is aware of the numerous warrants issued and the police’s efforts to apprehend Imran.
ہم عمران خان کی جان کو کسی صورت خطرے میں نہیں ڈال سکتے، کیا یہ عمران خان کی جان کی گارنٹی دیں جیسے نواز شریف کے لیے مانگی کئی تھی۔— PTI (@PTIofficial) March 14, 2023
Imran’s earlier request for an exemption from appearing in court was denied by an Islamabad sessions court, which reinstated his non-bailable arrest warrant in the Toshakhana criminal case.
Further Sessions The verdict was announced by Judge Zafar Iqbal, who also gave the former prime minister until March 18 to appear in court.
Imran requests that his supporters “carry on the fight”
Imran Khan, the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, has meanwhile made an impassioned appeal to his supporters, imploring them to defend their rights and “continue the struggle” even if he is detained or killed.
He claimed that in a video message posted to social media, the authorities thought that the country would become uninterested in his arrest. “My fellow Pakistanis, the police are waiting to take me into custody outside. They think that if Imran Khan is imprisoned, the country will doze off. You must disprove their claims. You need to demonstrate the viability of this country, he said.
My message to the nation to stand resolute and fight for Haqeeqi Azadi & rule of law. pic.twitter.com/bgVuOjsmHG— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) March 14, 2023
The importance of the Pakistani nation, which Imran emphasised was founded on the principles of “La illaha Illalah,” was further emphasised by him (there is only one God).
“This nation was founded on the tenets and creed of La illaha Illalah, and it is the Ummah of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him). You need to stand up and fight for your liberties, he advised.
He urged Pakistanis to fight for their rights and genuine freedom, saying that he had fought this battle his entire life and would do so in the future.
He did, however, issue a warning that in the event that something happened to him, his supporters must continue the struggle and never submit to the tyranny of the “thieves” making decisions for the nation, especially the one man who holds the position of power.
“I have everything God has given me, and I’m fighting this battle for you. I’ve been fighting this battle my entire life, and I will keep fighting it,” he declared.
“But you must demonstrate that this country will continue fighting if something bad happens to me, if I’m imprisoned, or if they kill me. You must never put up with these thieves’ tyranny, especially that of the one man who is in charge of national policy.
Alvi is concerned for Imran’s safety and respectability.
President Arif Alvi expressed his sadness over today’s events on Twitter. Unhealthy politics of retribution. Poor priorities of govt of a country that should focus on economic misery of the people. Is the political landscape being destroyed?” he questioned.
Like all politicians, he claimed to be concerned for Imran Khan’s safety and dignity.
I am deeply saddened by today's events. Unhealthy revenge politics. Poor priorities of govt of a country that should focus on economic misery of the people. Are we destroying political landscape? Am concerned about safety & dignity of @ImranKhanPTI like that of all politicians.— Dr. Arif Alvi (@ArifAlvi) March 14, 2023
Imran is advised by Nawaz to accept his arrest with “honour.”
Nawaz Sharif, the leader of the PML-N and a former prime minister, mocked Imran Khan for attempting to avoid arrest by joking that “if there was a person full of bravery and honour in his place, he would have drowned in shame instead of putting on this circus show [outside his residence]”.
Instead of being accused of cowardice and dishonour, “he would have left politics,” the speaker continued.
گرفتاری کے خوف سے عمران خان جو سرکس لگائے بیٹھا ہے، اُسکی جگہ اگر رتّی بھر بہادری اور غیرت رکھنے والا شخص ہوتا تو شرم سے ڈوب مرتا۔ بزدلی اور بے غیرتی کا دھبہ لگوانے کی بجائے سیاست چھوڑ دیتا۔— Nawaz Sharif (@NawazSharifMNS) March 14, 2023
اکبر نے سنا ہے اہلِ غیرت سے یہی
جینا ذلت سے ہو تو مرنا اچھا