Clashes between PTI, police continue, several injured, vehicles damaged
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Violent actions from the police and the protesters of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) are continued in different cities including Islamabad, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Karachi.
The government with all its might and the PTI with all its zeal are entangled in a fierce face-off as the latter is not budging on its ongoing march and the government is not willing to let the ‘anarchy’ sweep across the country, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Wednesday.
At Numaish Chorangi, the PTI workers tortured a private TV channel's team members including a female reporter. The Sindh government has taken a notice of the incident.
in the Punjab capital, the supporters of Imran Khan took to the Liberty Chowk on the call on local leadership to leave for the federal capital of Islamabad. Police used teargas to disperse them at the noted capital squar leaving a few hurt. However, sources said more and more supporterss are gathering at the point.
During the clash with PTI at Faizabad, a Rangers personnel was shifted to hospital after getting some injuries.
In Attock, during the removal of the containers from the roads, a PTI worker died, and two were injured at the Motorway Haroon Pull (bridge). The dead body and injured persons have been shifted to the hospital.
In Rawalpindi, a clash between PTI workers and police were observed as many policemen were injured and several police vehicles damaged after strong from the protestors at the Murree Road. The PTI workers were trying to go to Faizabad chowk. MPA Raja Rashid Hafeez and Amir Kiyani were leading the mob.
The channel report said that former MNA Raja Khurram Nawaz, Sadaqat Abbasi and Sudhir Chaudhry were injured when the police officials threw some teargas shells at their car near Faizabad. The injured leaders of the PTI were shifted to the hospital. Due to shelling, the screen of the car was also damaged.
The day has been dawned to witness a widespread crackdown on the PTI workers as authorities have intensified their raids to capture the PTI leaders and supporters on the eve of party’s Long March on Islamabad today.
Besides an intense swoop and large-scale arrests, the government has also resorted to massive roadblocks and hurdles placed in cities and cutting off roads and motorways’ access from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the federal capital in an apparent bid to literally make Islamabad inaccessible in order to scuttle the PTI march plan.
A showdown is likely to occur between the undaunting PTI and the apprehensive government.
Though the federal cabinet decided yesterday that the PTI would not be allowed to hold its procession towards Islamabad, but unyielding PTI Chairman Imran Khan decided otherwise and asked his supporters and activists to brave the hurdles and march on Islamabad.
On its part, the government has indulged in an extensive crackdown in several cities of Punjab and twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad since Monday night and arrested more than 1,000 PTI leaders and workers to thwart PTI power show in the federal capital.
The government has deployed Rangers in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. The mobile service has also been shut in many areas of Punjab.
The government has declared emergency in government hospitals in twin cities in the event of any untoward situation. The Metro bus service has also been suspended.
Imran Khan kicks off long march from Peshawar
The main caravan led by former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan started from Peshawar at noon.
The indomitable Khan vowed that despite all hurdles, he would definitely reach the D-Chowk Islamabad today.
However, before the start of his caravan, Imran Khan released a video message on his Twitter handle in which he delivered a special message to the people, especially the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
He said: “I’m kicking off Long March from Peshawar. I will reach straight to Wali Interchange. I’m inviting all KP people to reach Wali Interchange from where I will lead this Azadi Caravan, the real freedom caravan, to Islamabad, God willing! I implore everyone to come out and join the caravan as this is the defining moment for Pakistan. We will succeed in achieving real success.”
قوم خصوصاً خیبرپختونخوا کےعوام کے نام میراخصوصی پیغام! سب لوگ سیدھا ولی انٹرچینج پہنچیں جہاں سےایک بہت بڑےقافلے کی صورت میں اسلام آباد کیلئے— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) May 25, 2022
روانہ ہوں گے، انشاءاللہ#حقیقی_آزادی_مارچ pic.twitter.com/prdiTUdJUx
Imran Khan reached the motorway toll plaza from the chief minister’s house in Peshawar; the party workers will gather at the motorway toll plaza and leave for Islamabad under the leadership of Imran Khan.
Imran Khan was accompanied by party leaders including Pervez Khattak, Asad Qaiser, Shahram Khan Tarakai and Atif Khan.
He was also accompanied by Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Fawad Chaudhry, Haleem Sheikh, Shah Farman and other central PTI leaders.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and other provincial ministers and members of KP assembly also accompanied Imran Khan.
The PTI leaders and KP assembly members are also bringing convoys of workers and supporters from their respective constituencies.
The PTI convoys from Khyber, Mohmand and Peshawar districts will leave for Islamabad together, whereas, the party caravans from Nowshera and Charsadda will welcome Imran Khan at Charsadda Interchange.
The PTI caravans from Malakand, Swat, Chitral, Dir, Chakdara, Buner, and Bajaur will join the party’s long march at Swabi Interchange.
The PTI caravans from Hazara, Mansehra, Abbottabad, Torghar, Kohistan and Koh Palas will arrive at Burhan Interchange under the leadership of Mushtaq Ghani to join the party’s long march towards Islamabad.
The PTI workers from Orakzai, Kurram, Hangu and Karak will also leave for Islamabad under the leadership of provincial ministers and local MNAs and MPAs.
On the occasion, the party’s KP secretary information said that no obstacle in the path of the long march would be tolerated. “If the central government puts any obstacle in the path, the workers will break it.”
MWM’s delegation participates in PTI’s long march
In the light of its decision to participate in the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) ‘Haqeeqi Azadi long march’, a delegation of Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM), led by Allama Ahmed Iqbal Rizvi, on Wednesday left to represent the party in the march, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Quoting Raja Nasir Abbas Jaffery, MWM’s Media Cell said that creating obstacles in the way of people’s long march amounted to snatching their constitutional right. “Those who are obstructing the PTI’s long march do not want the country to come out of the US’s imperialism. “Every literate and politically aware citizen should become part of the march,” he appealed.
KP cut off from Punjab; twin cities’ entry, and exit points closed
The government has shut all the entry and exit points of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where the PTI rules and from where Imran vowed to take out a rally towards Islamabad, has been cut off from Punjab.
Swabi Motorway has been closed for all kinds of traffic from Anbar Interchange. The government has placed containers on the Jhelum River bridges after breaking the protective walls of the bridges.
The government has already imposed Section 144 in Punjab, Sindh and Islamabad.
Mobile service to remain shut in Lahore, Gujrat, Pindi, Jhelum
The Punjab home department has accepted the demand of the police to shut down mobile service in Gujrat, Rawalpindi and different areas of Lahore today.
On all entry and exit points of Lahore, there will be no mobile service.
The mobile phones will be jammed on Jhelum Road and GT road today.
The local administration has blocked Faizabad Interchange road leading to Islamabad. The district administration has closed Murree Road by putting up containers everywhere.
Containers have been hauled to block Sixth Road, Chandni Chowk, and Committee Chowk – the roads which lead to Cantt and Murree Road.
Metro Bus Service closed in twin cities
The Metro Bus service in Rawalpindi and Islamabad has been shut.
The service will remain closed till May 26. Sources, however, said that the decision regarding its opening will depend on the situation.
Attock district disconnected from rest of Punjab, KP
District Attock, which connects Punjab with the KP, remained disconnected from other parts of the province.
Police have blocked 14 entry and exit points of district Attock. GT Road has been closed from 8 points and Motorway has been shut from 6 points.
As many as 323 containers have been placed at these 14 points and these containers are filled up with sand.
Besides this, 8,241 police officials led by their heads including three SPs, 8 DSPs and 18 SHOs would be deployed at these points.
Yasmeen Rashid’s caravan shelled in Lahore
Meanwhile, a caravan led by former Punjab health minister Dr Yasmeen Rashid was shelled near Batti Chowk in Lahore.
The caravan led by the cancer survivor came under the volley of tear gas shells. The Batti Chowk of Lahore presented a scene of the battleground between the PTI supporters and police as the police resorted to the baton charge and hurling teargas shells at the PTI workers.
Police hit Dr Yasmeen’s vehicle with batons and broke the windscreen of her car.
The activists started removing the barricades placed on roads and were moving ahead.
Former energy minister Hammad Azhar also reached the Batti Chowk.
The PTI workers and lawyers raised slogans against the government on the PMG Chowk.
The police started baton charges on party workers at Aiwan-e-Adal. They also flung teargas shells on the marchers.
Former education minister Shafqat Mehmood was also present there sitting in his car as the police had closed the road.
However, on Shahdra Chowk, the club-holding PTI workers removed obstacles and hurdles erected there.
Later, the caravan led by Hammad Azhar succeeded in crossing the Ravi Bridge as all hurdles placed on the bridge were removed.
Tear-gas shelling continues in Srinagar Highway, Rawalpindi
Police continued hurling tear-gas shells intermittently at the unrelenting marchers.
On the other hand, former interior minister Sh Rashid in his video message deplored that the government had laid a siege to his Lal Haveli. He claimed that more than 60 PTI workers had been rounded up. He, however, vowed to participate in the long march along with other workers.
On the other hand, police also indulged in shelling on Srinagar Highway in Islamabad. A prisoner's van was brought there.
Clash in Gujrat
The workers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) clashed with police in Gujrat and removed the containers from some places that had been placed to stop them from marching on Islamabad, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Wednesday.
It is worth mentioning here that the police have been raiding the houses of the prominent leaders of the PTI in Punjab in a move to bar them from reaching the federal capital following the PTI’s announcement of a march on Islamabad.
People in different cities have been experiencing difficulties due to the blockage of roads with containers, and, news about PTI workers and police face-off in different districts of Punjab have also been reported.
PTI workers cross Wazirabad river bridge
The enthusiastic Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) marchers, led by local party leader Muhammad Ahmed Chattha, managed to remove all the hurdles placed on the Khanki Barrage Bridge at Wazirabad on their way to Islamabad, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Wednesday.
Despite the presence of large police contingents at and around the bridge, which clashed with them in order to stop them, the workers seemed to be least deterred and succeeded in reaching the other side of the bridge, leaving the cops helpless and stunned.
The caravan was close to Jhelum till the last reports came in.
Speaking to the media on the occasion, Chattha said that on the call of PTI Chairman Imran Khan, he and his party men were determined to reach the federal capital.
Earlier, the authorities had placed containers on the GT Road over Chenab River in order to prevent the onward movement of the PTI’s long march.
The containers were even welded together so that they could not be moved from their positions.
Although raids were carried out on the party leaders’ homes in and around the city late at night, without much success.
Around 14 people had also been arrested from Sialkot on Wednesday.
PTI workers are gathering at the office of Usman Dar—former federal minister of Youth Affairs.
Police have arrested 16 workers from Sialkot so far.
Police have placed containers on the G.T. Road in Kharian city in a bid to prevent the protesters and marchers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) from the Rawalpindi city.
The police personnel have placed containers on the main roundabout of the Kharian city and traffic on the G.T Road is lower than usual.
The Multan Road leading towards Lahore has been blocked at the Jambar area as the administration has placed containers to put hurdles at the BS Link Canal Jambar.
The blockade has literally made it impossible for any kind of traffic to pass from the Jambar area.
A heavy contingent of police have been deployed at the Pattoki National Highway.
Police detained hundreds of supporters of ousted prime minister Imran Khan in a swoop going on for the last two days ahead of a major sit-in planned by the former leader, senior party members and police sources said Wednesday, as the government pledged to block the protest.
The police will detain all of them under the MPO 16 and send them to jail.
Police also raided the Dera of senior PTI leader Bilal Aslam Bhatti in Lahore. But he was not there and the police had to come back empty-handed. However, police started an investigation on the employees of Mr Bhatti.
In Mandi Bahauddin, police also intensified their swoop. They made a raid on the house of member National Assembly Haji Imtiaz Ahmad who evaded arrest but the authorities managed to round up scores of PTI activists and close friends of Haji Imtiaz.
The MNA from Mandi denounced arrests and asked the authorities to show some sagacity as arrests and detentions could not stop the path of Azadi March.
More than 100 detained PTI supporters are being sent to jails under the MPO 16 in Islamabad.
More police teams have been formed to intensify the crackdown in the federal capital and a contingent of Rangers has also reached the Sports Complex.
Khan, a cricket star turned populist politician, was kicked out of power last month in a vote of no-confidence, but has since pressured the country's fragile new coalition government by staging mass rallies across the country.
Alleging that he was removed through a "foreign conspiracy", Khan plans on Wednesday to lead tens of thousands of supporters from his power base in the northwestern city of Peshawar to the capital Islamabad demanding fresh elections.
"Tomorrow I will be leading the largest march of Pakistan's history. I don't consider it politics but jihad," Khan said.
Security was being built up across the country, with shipping container roadblocks hauled into place in Islamabad and the government quarter put on lockdown, while many entries and exit points around the city of Lahore -- around 380 kilometres (236 miles) away -- were also blocked.
"This (protest) is being done to divide the nation and promote chaos," Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah told reporters. "Nobody should be allowed to besiege the capital and dictate his terms."
"This march cannot be allowed to take place," Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb added.
They were booked on public order offences and remain in detention, one of the sources said.
Fawad Chaudhry, the former information minister, accused police of not having the necessary warrants and put the number of arrested at more than 400.
"More than 1,100 houses were raided overnight. Police entered the houses without any warrants and insulted women and children," he tweeted.
Police have not officially commented on the arrests or allegations.
PML-N leader Attaullah Tarar said at a press conference that protestors had been planning to join the march "with weapons".
"We have information that they have started collecting ammunition at various places," he told reporters.
Political analyst Hassan Askari Rizvi told AFP that the establishment was currently remaining neutral in the standoff but "they may try to defuse the situation if it gets worse".
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Wednesday ordered the administration to release 70 workers of the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) which were arrested during multiple raids across Punjab cities.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah observed that how could a government arrest the workers when they had not done anything yet.
The IHC CJ further ordered the administration to take surety bonds from the arrested workers of the PTI in case they damaged the Metro Station.
The IHC CJ, who was hearing the petitions against arrests of the PTI workers and an intensified crackdown against them, remarked that the administration should inform the IHC if there was any information against anyone.
The court also ordered to review the cases of all workers arrested by the police.
PTI activists, lawyers released
On the orders of the court as many as 50 workers and lawyers of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) who had been detained at Badami Bagh police station in Lahore, in order to bar them from participating in the party’s long march towards Islamabad, were released.
Police seek Rs100m funds to bear long march deployment cost
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) long march will cost Rs100 million to the Punjab Police personnel being deployed at the Lahore, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala and Sargodha region.
The Punjab IG Police has been asked to provide the required funds to bear the cost.
The funds will be utilized for the food and the security equipment for the police department.
Sources claimed that the relevant branch of the IG Office will forward the funds demand to the movement.
Imran Ismael dodges police on a motorbike
Former governor of Sindh and PTI Karachi chapter leader Imran Ismael in a movie-like situation first reached the Lal Haveli and then left the Haveli on a motorbike, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Rawalpindi Police tried to arrest Imran Ismael but Imran Ismael left the Lala Haveli vicinity on a motorbike.
The PTI workers chanted slogans in favour of the Imran Ismael.
Reporters Farzana Siddique, Syed Azmat Ali Shah, Anwarul Haq, Nayyer Alam, Syed Tanveer Naqvi, Mian Ashfaq, Shahzad Ch, Ali Akbar, Irfan Malik, Qaiser Khokhar, Ehtisham Kiyani, Ali Sahi, Kafalat Ali Shah, Babar Shahzad Turk
Reporter: Muhammad Kamran, Shahzeb Hussain, Farzana Siddique, Tayyab Saif, Muhammad Imran,