One dead, dozens wounded as protests against Imran arrest rock nation

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE/KARACHI: At least one man was killed and a dozen others wounded in nationwide protests that erupted following the arrest of former prime minister Imran Khan from Islamabad High Court (IHC) premises by paramilitary Rangers on Tuesday.

The man was killed by police firing on a rally when highly charged supporters of Khan blocked the Airport Road neighbourhood in Quetta to protest against his arrest.

“There was a firing incident inside the PTI rally,” a senior police officer informed, requesting anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Munir Baloch, president of the Balochistan wing of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), accused the police of firing on the protesters, demanding an investigation into the incident.

Enraged demonstrators burnt two police vehicles parked near the rally and pelted stones as police fired tear gas to disperse the highly charged supporters of the PTI chief.

Protesters also burnt tires on the Airport Road, suspending traffic between Quetta and other parts of Balochistan. The protesters also blocked main national highways in Balochistan linking the country to neighbouring Iran and Afghanistan.

A Balochistan police spokesperson said that three police officers were also injured when protesters fired on them.

The Balochistan government has imposed Section 144 to maintain order.

PTI leader Qasim Suri confirmed that a PTI worker was “martyred” in Quetta during protests in support of party chairman Imran Khan following his arrest earlier on Tuesday.

“The government banned all kinds of political rallies and display of weapons,” Balochistan Home Minister Ziaullah Langove told The Express Tribune.

He stressed that no one would be allowed to take the law into their hands and that the government’s writ would be ensured at all costs.


Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has summoned the federal cabinet meeting at 6:00 pm on today.

According to sources, the cabinet meeting was summoned amid the current economic and political unrest in the country.

After Imran Khan’s arrest sparked protests across the country, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah issued a warning on Tuesday and said that the state will show zero tolerance for lawbreakers who are damaging public and private properties.


The interim provincial government enforced Section 144 across Punjab on Tuesday for two days following the rising unrest after the arrest of former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in the Al-Qadir Trust case.

The imposition of Section 144 is a response to escalating unrest and a measure to maintain law and order after reports of arson and violent protests from different parts of the province.

The interim provincial government also issued a notification for the imposition of Section 144 across the province.

The notification cited the reason for imposing Section 144 as the ongoing protests and rallies following the arrest of “a political leader”, which pose security threats, can disrupt traffic, and cause inconvenience to the public.

“There is also a history of terrorist activities in the rallies/protests, wherein, a number of police officials and civilians embraced shahadat. Hence, in the context of the prevailing overall security situation in the wake of recent wave of terrorism & threat alerts, it has been necessary to impose Section 144 of CrPC, 1898 on holding of aall kinds of assemblies, gatherings, sits-in, rallies, processions, demonstrations, jalsas, dharnas, protests, and similar activities across the province of Punjab to overt any untoward incident,” the home department said in the notification.

The order comes into effect immediately and will remain in force for two days, it added.

Speaking to the media shortly afterwards, Punjab interim Information Minister Amir Mir condemned what he termed “PTI’s open acts of terrorism”, warning that extremist elements have crossed “a red line”.

Mir stated that attacks on national security institutions are acts of enmity and fascism. He also highlighted the disturbing incidents in Lahore and Rawalpindi as synonymous with acts of hostility against the state.

Islamabad administration imposed section 144 in the territory, the police said on its Twitter handle.

The Islamabad police have warned of strict action against anti-social elements for violating Section 144 imposed in the federal capital.

The police also advised the people to use alternate routes to reach their destinations.

It said that traffic congestion was observed between Koral and Khanna Bridge Stops at the Islamabad Expressway therefore Lehtrar Road and Peshawar Road can be used alternatively.

Besides, traffic was also interrupted near Faizabad interchange and has been diverted towards Murree Road.

For traffic interruptions near Saien Mirchu Darbar stop of Srinagar Highway, commuters can use Peshawar Road.

Section 144 has been imposed in Peshawar for 30 days, following the arrest of PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Deputy Commissioner Shah Fahad said.

[Section 144][1] of the Code of Criminal Procedure empowers the district administration to issue orders in the public interest that may place a ban on an activity for a specific period of time.

Police have warned of action in case of the violation of Section 144.

Punjab CM vows to ‘not spare’ persons involved in ‘attack on state’

Caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi has vowed to “not spare” a single person who is “involved in this attack on the state” in the wake of protests and demonstrations by PTI supporters after former prime minister Imran Khan’s arrest.

“This is not politics, this is sheer terrorism,” he tweeted.

‘PTI to approach SC against IHC upholding Imran’s arrest’

PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry has said the party will approach the Supreme Court in the morning to challenge the Islamabad High Court’s upholding of party chairman Imran Khan’s arrest earlier today. He termed the high court’s decision “surprising”.

Protest outside corps commander house, GHQ

In Lahore, a large number of PTI supporters gathered outside corps commander residence in Cantt where they clashed with police. The police used tear gas to disperse the protesters who retaliated with stone pelting. The situation remained tense in the Cantt area where charged PTI workers and supporters of arrested PTI chairman have setup a sit-in.

In Peshawar, PTI supporters gathered outside headquarters of Frontier Corps and corps commander where they chanted slogans and clashed with police personnel.

In Gujranwala, Sialkot and Multan, protesting PTI workers entered Cantt areas to record protest against the arrest of their leaders.

In Rawalpindi, a large number of PTI workers marched towards General Headquarters where they staged a sit-in and chanted slogans. They also pelted stones on the gate of GHQ and some of the workers including women attempted to enter the building.

Meanwile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders booked over vandalism in protests after the arrest of PTI chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan.

According to sources, the cases were registered in police station Ramna, Tarnol and Aabpara against PTI chairman Imran Khan and other leaders including Asad Umar, Ali Nawaz Awan and Amir Mughal.

Sources added that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leaders were booked for violation of section 188.

Earlier in the day, the PTI chairman, who was arrested in the Al-Qadir Trust case, has been referred to a seven-member medical board at the Poly Clinic in Islamabad for a medical examination.

The Islamabad police have said that five police officers were injured during demonstrations in the capital city today, while 43 protesters have been arrested for violating the law.

Ali Zaidi ‘abducted’ in Karachi

The PTI has claimed that president of the party’s Sindh chapter Ali Haider Zaidi has been “abducted” in Karachi.

Separately, South SSP Asad Raza told media that 23 PTI workers were arrested in Karachi, but he did not confirm whether Zaidi was among them.

He said the party workers were trying to go towards the “Red Zone” to stage a protest outside sensitive installations near the FTC flyover when police stopped them on Tuesday evening.

SSP Raza claimed that the workers attacked police with stones, as a result of which three police officers were injured.

“Police retaliated by tear gas shelling and arrested 23 workers while others were dispersed,” he said.

In Karachi, both lanes of the Sharea Faisal were blocked after PTI MNAs and MPAs blocked the roads. Demonstrations were also reported at main University Road, near Old Sabzi Mandi, Banaras Chowk and Al-Asif Square.

A video shared by a citizen shows thick black smoke billowing from what seems to be a barricade on Sharea Faisal.

PTI leaders move IHC to avoid arrest

Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) leaders including former federal minister Fawad Chaudhry filed the petition in Islamabad High Court (IHC) to avoid arrest.

According to the details, after the arrest of Imran Khan, the leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf including Fawad Chaudhry, Ali Bukhari, and Qayyum Niazi approached the Islamabad High Court to avoid arrest.

The PTI leaders stated in the petition filed in the High Court that there is a fear that they will be arrested as soon as they leave the high court.

IG Islamabad, FIA, and Interior Secretary have been made parties in the petition.

‘Amnesty calls for restoration of mobile internet services’

Human rights group Amnesty International has called on the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to restore mobile internet services in the country and access to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

“Amid concerns about escalating clashes between Imran Khan’s supporters and the police, Amnesty International is alarmed by reports that Pakistani authorities have suspended mobile internet and access to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube,” the human rights group tweeted.

It added, “This restricts people’s access to information and freedom of expression.

We call upon the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and interior ministry to immediately reverse this ban.“

CIE exams scheduled for tomorrow cancelled across Pakistan

The British Council has cancelled all Cambridge International, Pearson, University of London and IELTS exams scheduled across Pakistan on Wednesday.

It said in a tweet that the decision was taken “due to the sudden developing situation in the country”.

“For exam sessions scheduled for May 11 and 12, we will update our social media tomorrow,” it added.

Protest outside Pakistan High Commission in London

Supporters of the PTI have taken to the streets in London and protested against Imran Khan’s arrest outside the Pakistan High Commission London.

A Reuters photographer captured a series of images of Imran loyalists waving the PTI flag.

Supporters of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan protest against his arrest in Pakistan, outside of the High Commission for Pakistan in London on May 9, 2023.—Reuters/Henry Nicholls

PTI chief hasn’t been tortured during arrest: Sanaullah

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has clarified that Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan hasn’t been tortured during his arrest.

Reacting to detention of PTI chief on Tuesday, he said that it was legal documented case and the progress on it would have been made without arrest, if Imran Khan had joined the investigation.

Rana Sanaullah said that despite repeated notices, Chairman PTI avoided to join the investigation after which National Accountability Bureau (NAB) took him into custody for harming the national exchequer.

However, he clarified that no torture has been made on Imran Khan during his arrest.

EU reacts to Imran’s arrest

The European Union (EU) emphasised on the exhibition of ‘restrain and cool headedness’ after former premier and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s arrest sparked protests across the country.

Reacting to Imran Khan’s arrest, the spokesperson of the European External Action Service (EEAS) said in a statement, “In the context of Tuesday’s arrest of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, the European Union emphasises that in such difficult and tense times, restraint and cool headedness are needed.”

“Pakistan’s challenges can only be addressed and its pathway can only be determined by Pakistanis themselves, through sincere dialogue and in line with the rule of law,” it concluded.


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