- Mehmoodur Rasheed says 627 party workers arrested in province in two days
- Waleed Iqbal says two party workers, arrested from Mughalpura, still missing
On the call of its chief Imran Khan against the arrest of party workers, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Lahore chapter held protests at five different places in the city on Friday, warning the rulers not to create hindrances in party’s November 2 public rally in Islamabad or the movement may turn violent.
Despite strict security checks, the party somewhat managed to hold protests outside Lahore Press Club, at Babu Sabu, Lalik Chowk (DHA), near Mozang and Mughalpura against the arrests of PTI workers and leaders.
The PTI’s protest outside the Lahore Press Club was led by MNA Shafqat Mehmood and Waleed Iqbal. PTI workers reached the protest sites from different parts of the city in the form of rallies and blocked roads, triggering traffic gridlocks on adjacent arteries.
The protesters also chanted anti-government slogans and warned the rulers not to create hindrances in the way of PTI’s November 2 public rally of Islamabad.
The protest at Mozang was led by MPA Mian Aslam Iqbal and Dr Yasmin Rashid while party’s Lahore General Secretary Hammaz Azhar led the protesters at Babu Sabu.
Moreover, Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed said that more than 627 PTI workers were arrested from across the province in the past two days. “Residences of parliamentarians are being raided by the Punjab Police. The speaker must take action to ensure the sanctity of lawmakers,” he said.
Rasheed also argued that the crackdown on PTI workers in Islamabad was a violation of the high court’s order and the government would be responsible if this movement turned violent. He said that November 2 could prove to be the last day for the incumbent government if the rulers did not change their attitude.
Talking to Pakistan Today, PTI’s Lahore chief Waleed Iqbal said, “Our two party workers were arrested by police from Mughalpura and they are still missing.”
To a query, Iqbal said that PTI workers from Lahore would definitely participate in party’ November 2 lockdown of Islamabad by crossing all the barriers placed by the government.
Meanwhile, insiders told this scribe on the condition of anonymity that the PTI leadership had instructed party workers and supporters to minimise their public appearance in order to avoid arrests. “Party workers are continuously shifting their locations to avoid arrest in a bid to participate in large numbers in the November 2 public gathering in Islamabad,” they added.