As countdown for November 2 protest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is nearing, the government is making all out efforts to block entry of the party workers in the capital by placing shipping containers on routes leading to Islamabad.
On the other side, the PIT is also not ready to give up despite all the hurdles as a group of Insaf Tigers Force comprising over 1,000 men from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has already camped inside the residence of the party chairman Imran Khan in Bani Gala.
In the evening, personnel of police and Frontier Constabulary who are deployed outside the Khan’s residence resorted to baton charge and fired tear gas shells on these unarmed activists of the PTI.
Scores of them also sustained minor injuries during the clashes and were given the first aid immediately by a group of volunteer doctors available there. An activist of the party who was arrested by the police had a cardiac arrest in Adiala Jail and was shifted to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) for the treatment.
After the clashes between the law enforcement agencies and the PTI workers, the government has reinforced the strength of the police and Frontier Constabulary personnel besides stationing an ambulance, Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) vehicle, installing CCTV cameras to deal with any untoward situation.
Meanwhile, the Punjab government has placed shipping containers on the Grand Trunk Road at Attock Bridge, the place from where the jurisdiction of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa starts, to stop the PTI workers’ entry in the federal capital to participate in the November 2 protest-cum-sit-in.
The beleaguered government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has also blocked Islamabad-Peshawar motorway which received ire of Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervaiz Khattak over cutting-off the province from rest of the country. While talking to media persons in Swabi, Khattak warned that if all the routes linking his province with rest of the country aren’t opened till Saturday night, he along with people of the province will forcibly remove all the blockades.
Following Khattak’s warning, a statement by Federal Interior Ministry stated that the motorway was blocked after a group of PTI workers from the KP clashed with the police, adding the motorway and all other routes will be opened for the passengers and general public.
The police crackdown on workers of the PTI and Awami Muslim League continued on the third-consecutive day both in Rawalpindi and Islamabad, despite a clear order from Islamabad High Court not to arrest any peaceful citizen. A legal team of the PTI and AML that has been tasked to get all the arrested workers released on the bail remained busy in courts, but managed to get only some of them out of Adiala jail.
The Capital City Police Office (CCPO) Rawalpindi also ordered to release chauffer of AML chief Shaikh Rashid Ahmed who was taken in custody on Friday. A large number of police and FC personnel were seen patrolling the capital to keep the law and order under control and their number are believed to be further reinforced in the coming days.
The routine life in Rawalpindi came to normalcy on Saturday, but the district administration has yet to remove the shipping containers placed in different parts of the city including Murree Road. Earlier in the morning, PTI chairman Imran Khan had breakfast with the party workers stationed in Bani Gala to boost their morale besides visiting the police and FC personnel deployed outside his residence. Khan plainly told the police and FC Jawans not to accept any illegal orders from the government and their seniors. “The people of this country have entrusted you with their security of life and property and you must not misuse your authority,” Khan said.