• Wednesday, April 24, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Imran’s supporters arrested for protests against poll rigging

A file photo of supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), carry posters and placards as they chant slogans against what they call, ‘blatant rigging in national election’, during a protest in Karachi, Pakistan March 2, 2024. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

By: Shajil Kumar

More than 100 supporters of jailed former prime minister Imran Khan’s party have been arrested from different parts of Punjab province of Pakistan for staging rallies against alleged vote rigging, police said on Sunday (4).

On the call of party founder Imran Khan, supporters of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party held protests across Pakistan on Saturday against the alleged “massive rigging” in the February 8 general elections.

Most arrests took place in Lahore where newly elected Chief Minister Punjab Maryam Nawaz ordered a clamp down on the protesting PTI supporters.

“Police thrashed and arrested 80 workers and leaders in Lahore. Over 20 have been arrested in Gujrat city. Protests were held in 38 cities of Punjab and the federal capital Islamabad,” a PTI spokesperson said on Sunday (4).

In Lahore, police baton-charged protesters at GPO Chowk and Liberty Chowk.

“PTI leaders Mian Shahzad Farooq and Afzaal Azeem Pahat, who contested the election last month against Maryam Nawaz and her uncle Shehbaz Sharif, respectively, were also arrested. Farooq had defeated Maryam but the Election Commission of Pakistan had changed the result,” the spokesperson said.

Videos of Khan’s supporters being dragged out of cars and beaten for displaying PTI flags were doing the rounds on social media.

Punjab police said they arrested those protesters who blocked the road.

The service of X, formerly Twitter, also remained disrupted in the country on Saturday and Sunday. The disruption of different social media sites, particularly X, has become an order of the day after the controversy-marred polls.

The PTI has condemned the “brutal” police action to stop the peaceful protest against the massive rigging in elections and stealing the mandate of the people to impose “the mandate thieves” on the nation.

PTI spokesperson Raoof Hasan denounced the “fascist, coercive tactics and the unlawful use of State machinery” to disrupt the peaceful protest across the country against the theft of the public mandate.

Hasan said the people came in droves on the call of their beloved leader Imran Khan to protest against poll fraud, which proved that the mandate thieves rode to power on the coattails of the stolen votes. (PTI)

 

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