PTI begins long march amid blockades, crackdown against workers
The blockade caused a massive traffic jam.
LAHORE (Dunya News) - Amid blockades and crackdown against party workers across the country, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) planned long march announced by former prime minister Imran Khan following public rallies held across the country will start today (Wednesday).
The former prime minister and PTI chairman will reach Swabi by helicopter from Peshawar, leading the procession from Ambar Interchange.
The PMLN-led federal and Punjab governments have closed several roads leading to Islamabad from various Punjab cities and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province in an effort to stop PTI activists from marching on Islamabad.
The PTI chairman announced that he would welcome party activists at Islamabad’s Srinagar Highway at 3pm on Wednesday, May 25. On Tuesday, he said he would lead the march from KP to Islamabad.
The government has cut road links between KP and Punjab as police parties continue to raid the homes of PTI activists. The authorities have also imposed Section 144 in Sindh, Punjab, and Islamabad Capital Territory, banning the assembly of more than four people.
Police seize huge cache of weapons from PTI leader’s house in Lahore
Police have seized a huge cache of weapons from residence of PTI leader in provincial capital of Punjab.
The seized weapons include 13 SMG rifles, 3 pistols, 26 magazines and hundreds of bullets.
DIG Operations while addressing a press conference, said that police had reports that cache of weapons was being shifted to Lahore.
Police arrests PTI’s Ejaz Chaudhry and Mian Mehmood ur Rasheed
The police arrested PTI’s Senator Ejaz Chaudhry, Punjab senior leader Mian Mehmood ur Rasheed and other party workers.
Despite the government ban, ex-prime minister and PTI chairman Imran Khan and other party leaders have vowed to reach Islamabad for the sit-in till the announcement of new elections.
Most extensive road blockades were seen in the Punjab capital of Lahore where the government placed shipping containers over the Ravi Bridge. A heavy contingent of police was deployed there.
The blockade caused a massive traffic jam as the old Ravi Bridge has already been closed for heavy traffic.
While Police dispersed the PTI protestors on Bati Chowk. It is also reported that police sheld at a rally and PTI leader Yasmin Rashid was leading that rally.
Several protestors’ health deteriorated after the shelling.
Rawalpindi and Islamabad
In Rawalpindi, the government has sealed all the bus terminals, effectively shutting down inter-city public transport. The authorities have told transporters not to ply their vehicles for the next few days.
At least 2,000 anti-riot police officers and another 2,000 Sindh police personnel have also been called in to assist Punjab police.
Fawad urges masses to come out for Pakistan
PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry urged the people of Pakistan to "come out for Pakistan" as Imran Khan called on Pakistanis for a long march towards Islamabad.
Taking to Twitter, former Minister Fawad said, "Today people of Pakistan will come out for rightful independence and it will be a day when sovereignty of people will be decided."
Fawad urged the people to come out for their future generations. He also insisted to join their voices with Imran Khan’s call which is for the revolution and for the people.
Yasmin Rashid gets minor injuries as police smash her car
PTI leader Dr. Yasmin Rashid on Wednesday said that she was injured after police attacked her car and broke windscreen and windowpanes.
Talking exclusively with Dunya News, the PTI leader said that they are on roads since 9am and police since then has fired hundreds of tear gas shells on her convey.
She further said that she does not expect anything good from the incumbent government but it is her duty to try to reach Islamabad despite these hurdles and blockades.
In a message to her party workers, the former Punjab minister asked them to march towards federal capital.
SC directs govt to provide suitable site to PTI for long march
Supreme Court of Pakistan directed government to provide suitable spot to PTI for its long march.
Supreme Court was hearing a petition against the closure of roads and highways and arrests of political workers ahead of the long march.
During the hearing, Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan remarked that PTI should lodge its protest and go back while government should devise a traffic plan for long march venue. We would also seek assurances from the PTI, he added.
The court further remarked that it hopes government will reopen roads and lift blockages.
"If the PTI fears arrests, it should provide us with a list. We will protect those who fear arrests."
Clash erupts after Police attempts to arrest Hammad Azhar
Clashes erupted between PTI workers and Police after the latter tried to arrest to former minister Hammad Azhar.
Police arrested several PTI workers after they resisted arrest of Hammad Azhar.
In Lahore, police fired tear gas shells at workers of PTI heading towards Islamabad for participating in the long march.
Police arrest PTI s Jamshed Iqbal Cheema
Police have arrested PTI leader Jamshed Iqbal Cheema.