A large number of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers gathered at Zaman Park outside the residence of Chairman Imran Khan as the news of former prime minister’s possible arrest went viral on social media in the wee hours of Wednesday.
A formal call was given to the workers by leadership of the party to reach Zaman Park immediately to resist the possible arrest of Imran.
Soon after the call, hundreds of PTI workers including the central leadership reached Zaman Park and remained camped outside his residence to avoid his ‘possible’ arrest on Wednesday. The number of party workers swelled when senior PTI leader and former Federal Minister Fawad Chaudhry was arrested from his residence in Lahore.
Later, Chaudhry was shifted to Islamabad as an FIR was registered against him for using “derogatory” remarks against the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) senior officials. The workers remained steadfast at Zaman Park even after Chaudhry’s shifting to the federal capital. They were of the view that they will not move from there as the government is planning to arrest Imran Khan fearing his popularity. “One thing is clear, Imran Khan is our red line and we’ll lose our temper if any attempt is made to arrest him,” Ishtiaq Malik, a diehard fan of Imran Khan and founding member of PTI told this scribe.
Talking to the media outside the residence of Imran Khan, PTI Punjab’s Information Secretary Andleeb Abbas said that the arrest of Fawad Chaudhry is shameful and it was made on the behest of government. “It is Fawad today and it can be anyone tomorrow. We all should take firm stance against this fascism,” she said. It is now open that caretaker Chief Minister Punjab Mohsin Naqvi is completely biased and he is rightly proving himself as Zardari’s child, she said. The arrest of Fawad Chaudhry is against his right to freedom of speech, she added. “We are here. Come and arrest all of us,” said Andleeb.
PTI Central Punjab President Dr Yasmin Rashid said that the arrest of Fawad Chaudhry shows that the government is in panic. “The Election Commission of Pakistan is the personal slave of Nawaz Sharif and its biasness is now in front of anyone,” Yasmin said while talking to the media at Zaman Park. “We won 15 by-polls just recently despite the fact that ECP was involved in open rigging against us and it proves that people of Pakistan are standing with PTI,” she added. She was of the view that it doesn’t seem that the powerful institutions are neutral now. Attempts are being made to clear the way for Maryam Nawaz and Nawaz Sharif but we’ll not let it happen, she concluded.
It is worth mentioning here that roads leading towards Zaman Park were closed for traffic by the police while increasing miseries of the commuters. Some PTI leaders claimed that the roads were closed fearing a large number of crowd outside the residence of Imran Khan. Till the filing of this report, party workers remained present at Zaman Park to “protect” their leader.