Home Latest News PTI Stages Nationwide Protests against Alleged Electoral Rigging

PTI Stages Nationwide Protests against Alleged Electoral Rigging

Demonstrations in Punjab marred by arrests of leaders, workers

by Staff Report

Screengrab of a PTI protest on March 10

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Sunday staged nationwide protests against alleged electoral rigging, as per the instructions of party founder Imran Khan, encountering police action in Punjab and minor gatherings in the rest of the country.

In Islamabad, rallies from various areas reached Zero Point before converging at the National Press Club, where PTI MNA Sher Afzal Marwat claimed people were ready for the “struggle” to recover their “stolen mandate.” Vowing that the incumbent government would “suffer” for what it has “done with the people,” he maintained the people had sent a clear message of their support for Imran Khan through their vote. He also announced that the PTI would stage another demonstration in the federal capital on March 30.

Peshawar, where the PTI is in government, saw the largest gathering of Sunday’s protests, with estimates of roughly 2,500 people attending a rally addressed by Chief Minister Ali Amin Khan Gandapur. Echoing his maiden speech as chief minister, Gandapur demanded the release of Khan from prison and urged the chief justice of Pakistan to form a judicial commission to probe the cipher case.

Various other PTI leaders in Peshawar, meanwhile, demanded stern action against bureaucrats who had served as district returning officers and returning officers in the general elections and police for the “illegal” arrests of PTI workers and leaders ahead of the polls.

In Quetta, PTI workers and supporters gathered at the Press Club, with newly-elected provincial president Dawood Shah Kakar vowing the “struggle” would continue until the “stolen mandate” was restored to them. Karachi, too, saw a minor protest.

In Punjab, the PTI’s protest failed to take off after police used force to disperse various gatherings, with videos shared by the party on social media showing party workers being roughed up and several prominent leaders taken into custody.

Among the detained leaders from Lahore were PTI MNA Sardar Latif Khosa; senior leader Salman Akram Raja; and MPAs Farhat Abbas and Mian Haroon Akbar. The lawyers were subsequently released overnight. In addition to Lahore, smaller rallies were also staged in Kasur, Sheikhupura, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh, Rawalpindi, Sahiwal, Multan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Rahim Yar Khan, Layyah, Bahawalpur, and Muzaffargarh.

In a statement, the Supreme Court Bar Association demanded the immediate release of all lawyers and announced it would convene an emergency meeting of its executive committee to chart a course of action.

In a statement, a PTI spokesperson condemned the police action and arrest of party workers and leaders. They urged Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz to shun the policy of arresting peaceful protesters, claiming the “fake government” was scared of protests.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment