Pakistan on toes as Imran Khan leads march to Islamabad
Pakistan is in a state of upheaval after former Prime Minister Imran Khan's party PakistanTehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) called for a long march to demand fresh elections. The government had prohibited the march hours before a police officer was killed amid a crackdown on Khan's followers and PTI leaders. PTI workers and leaders, on the other hand, disregarded the ban and marched toward Islamabad.
- Khan has started an agitation against the new administration following his ouster through an alleged conspiracy.
- Recently, the Supreme Court of Pakistan directed the two sides to engage in dialogue. However, no breakthrough was reported between the two.
- Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb also said that no agreement has been reached between the federal government and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI).
Police resorted to shelling and tear gas to disperse the crowd in the afternoon. Following the fights, 10 persons were arrested while demonstrators were halted at many locations, including Shahdara, Islampura, Karim Park, Mohni Road, and Badami Bagh, according to the PTI. Hammad Azhar, Yasmin Rashid, and Fayyazul Hasan Chohan, among other party leaders, left for Islamabad today to join the demonstration.
Lahore: @Hammad_Azhar and citizens are peacefully making their way towards Batti Chowk. They have removed all blockades in their way so far. Seen here, Hammad Azhar atop a container that was meant to block the road for his Qafila.#حقیقی_آزادی_مارچ#PakistanUnderFascism pic.twitter.com/D3aHAsgQfh— PTI (@PTIofficial) May 25, 2022
Khan's supporters in Karachi have begun to congregate near the Numaish Chowrangi to demand early polls. "Karachi is about to make its own Azadi Square as Kaptaan's caravan heads toward Islamabad," PTI tweeted. Meanwhile, PTI leader Yasmin Rashid alleged that the government threatened her. "This government had lost senses. How is stopping a peaceful protest democratic?" she asked.
Since his ouster, Khan has staged rallies around the country, accusing the US of attempting to undermine his regime. He had informed the authorities that he would not leave the capital until the parliament was dissolved and new elections were held. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's coalition government has pledged to keep Khan's supporters out of the city.