Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has said that him and his supporters would not leave D-Chowk in Islamabad until they were given a new date for the elections.
The PTI chairman made the remarks in Hasan Abdal on his way to Islamabad, as supporters of the party started gathering at D-Chowk awaiting his arrival.
PTI protestors in Islamabad have also set fire to vehicles and trees, according to a statement by the Islamabad police. Police also said that protestors again set fire to Express Chowrangi after a blaze there was doused by the fire engine.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s main convoy from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, led by party chief Imran Khan, entered Punjab in the evening from Attock after workers were successful in removing obstructions placed by the Punjab government at the Attock bridge to hinder marchers from entering the province.
The development came a few hours after Imran Khan departed for Islamabad from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa leading his “Azadi March” towards the federal capital as instances of violence were reported between party workers and police.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan, while addressing party workers at Swabi, said that they were going to D-Chowk and no one could stop them.
To an applauding crowd, Khan called the current government a ‘group of theives’ who were the most corrupt in the country.
The PTI chairman said that the party’s goverment never stopped anyone from protesting because it did not fear the people. He added that this government was fearful of the people as they had been looting national wealth for 30 years.
Imran Khan added that protesting was the party’s right and that he would make a nation out of this country.
Meanwhile, PTI leaders such as Hammad Azhar, Yasmin Rashid, Fayyazul Hasan Chohan, along with party workers are on their way from cities such as Lahore, Faisalabad, Gujranwala. Yasmin Rashid was also arrested for a brief period and released.
The day started as police shelled party supporters in Lahore as they attempted to remove containers blocking the routes to Islamabad.
The government had stated on Tuesday that it would not allow the party’s march.
Footage run by TV channels showed clashes between marchers and police officials.
Media footage has shown protestors being shelled with tear gas. The shelling occurred at Bati and Bhatti chowks.
The marchers were also stopped at the Shahdara area of Lahore.
Meanwhile, a PTI procession led by leader Hammad Azhar was able to remove obstacles and was now on GT Road. Television footage also showed scuffles between PTI supporters and police as the latter tried to arrest Azhar.
Meanwhile, PTI leader Jamshed Iqbal Cheema was arrested in Lahore while police baton-charged protestors near Aiwan-e-Adal.
On the other hand, the Punjab government claimed that weapons had been recovered from the vehicles of workers belonging to PTI Lahore.
Police also arrested PTI’s Senator Ejaz Chaudhry, Punjab senior leader Mian Mehmood-ur-Rasheed along with several other party workers during raids. On Tuesday, police detained senior PTI leader Mian Mehmood-ur-Rasheed during a late-night raid under section 16 of the Maintenance of the Public Order (MPO). Later, a PTI spokesman claimed that the senator was also arrested alongside hundreds of other party workers.
In another development, police assaulted PTI leader Dr. Yasmin Rashid’s car, breaking the vehicle’s windows and windscreen. She was leading a caravan towards Batti Chowk when she had a verbal spat with police officers who were deployed to bar PTI members from leaving the city. Police told her that she couldn’t leave but she paid no heed to the instruction and proceeded ahead anyway. In response, police carried out a baton charge during which her car was damage. However, Dr. Rashid managed to get away.
Later, PTI’s social media account for its Islamabad office shared a video in which policemen along with individuals in plain clothes could be seen conducting a baton charge on alleged party workers. In a tweet, it said, “Once again Gullu Butts in action? Who are these non-uniform persons? And why is the police not stopping them from baton charge?”
— PTI Islamabad (@PTIOfficialISB) May 25, 2022
PTI workers managed to make their way through barricades near Khanki Headworks, with the caravan being led by Chaudhry Ahmed Chatha. The secretary general for the party’s Gujranwala wing said that 150 people had been arrested.
Ali Asjad Malhi, the district president for Daska, was reportedly arrested following a raid on his house.
PTI workers broke the wall of the Faisalabad Development Authority as scuffles broke out between law enforcers and party workers.
Meanwhile, internet outages were reported from all over the country.