Pakistan was in turmoil for the third straight day on Friday as opposition supporters torched vehicles and blocked roads in protest against the Supreme Court verdict barring PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and his brother from contesting polls, prompting police to fire tear gas and round up a number of them.
In the politically-crucial Punjab province where Governor's rule has been imposed after removal of Sharif's brother Shahbaz as its Chief Minister, paramilitary forces were put on high alert in view of the continued protests by PML-N activists.
Lawyers boycotted court proceedings to express solidarity with the Sharif brothers in the key cities of Karachi and Lahore as authorities filed cases against 300 leaders and activists of the PML-N in connection with the protests, which began on Wednesday after the apex court delivered its verdict, the media reported.
Nawaz Sharif had earlier expressed PML-N's support for the lawyers' movement for restoration of judges sacked during the emergency rule in 2007 by ex-President Pervez Musharraf.
Concerned over the unrest, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani held a Cabinet meeting to discuss the worsening political situation in the country.
About 100 protesters tried to block the main highway into the federal capital, resulting in firing of tear gas shells by police to disperse the crowd. Over two dozen protesters were taken into custody, media reports said.