Pakistan on boil: Trees torched, tear gas fired during Imran Khan's march

Violence was reported in Islamabad, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Karachi and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where supporters of Imran Khan's party Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf clashed with cops. 
PTI workers set on fire a tree in Islamabad's Blue Area.(Twitter/Ghazanfar Abbas)
PTI workers set on fire a tree in Islamabad's Blue Area.(Twitter/Ghazanfar Abbas)
Published on May 25, 2022 11:12 PM IST
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By | Written by Aryan Prakash

Clashes erupted across several cities of Pakistan amid the Azadi March call by the ousted prime minister Imran Khan Niazi. After Rawalpindi, Karachi, Lahore and parts of Khyber Pakhunkhwa, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf supporters and workers resorted to violence in the federal capital Islamabad, where the party chief is set to hold the rally.

The Islamabad Police said the protesters during the march set fire to trees and vehicles in the Blue area of the capital, prompting the authorities to immediately call fire tenders. The security in the Red Zone has been beefed up after the protesters set trees on fire on the Express Chowk too.

“No one is allowed to enter the red zone. If anyone tries to enter the red zone, it will be dealt with severely. In other places, officers are instructed not to use force. Protesters are urged to remain calm. Do not throw stones and damage property,” the Islamabad police tweeted a statement by Inspector General Akbar Nasir Khan.

During a brief stopover just 50 kilometres away from Islamabad, Imran Khan said he and his supporters won't vacate the D-Chowk in the capital until a final election date was given by the Shehbaz Sharif government, Dawn reported.

“We have entered Punjab and insha'Allah we will move towards Islamabad. No tactic of repression and fascism by this imported government can frighten us nor stop our march,” Khan had tweeted moments ago.

Former Pakistan information and broadcasting minister Chaudhary Fawad Hussain had tweeted that the PTI supporters had reached D-Chowk and Imran Khan would be anytime soon. Pakistan news website Dawn reported of intense shelling in the Blue area as television footage showed smoke rising from the ground.

Policemen stand next to the motorbikes that were damaged during a clash between protestors and police in Rawalpindi on Wednesday.(AFP)
Policemen stand next to the motorbikes that were damaged during a clash between protestors and police in Rawalpindi on Wednesday.(AFP)

Earlier in the day, clashes erupted in Punjab province after the PTI members in Lahore tried to remove the shipping containers which had blocked the routes to Islamabad. The police fired tear gas shells and arrested several protesters. The Punjab administration has imposed Section 144 as it alleged the PTI wanted to disrupt peace.

However, the PTI in a tweet alleged that the Punjab Police in Lahore fired teargas shells on the protesters.

The situation was no less tense in Sindh's capital Karachi where the police and PTI workers clashed at the busy Numaish Chowrangi intersection, Express Tribune reported. The PTI workers even torched a police van and removed all hurdles set up by the law enforcement agencies. The cops resorted to firing in the air and teargas shells to disperse the protesters.

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