Islamabad [Pakistan]: Law enforcers laid siege to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s residence late Thursday night as a crackdown was launched against his supporters.
The opposition party responded by announcing nation-wide protests against what it called ‘terrorism’ of the government, reports the Express Tribune.
Police detained dozens of PTI workers — including women — for violating Section 144 which the administration had imposed yesterday morning. Television footage showed police scuffling with Imran’s supporters before bundling them into prison vans and whisking them away.
Lal Haveli, the residence of Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, was also reportedly sealed to stop him staging a rally on Friday where Imran was also scheduled to show up.
PTI’s Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi told The Express Tribune that large contingents of police and Frontier Constabulary have ‘encircled’ Imran’s residence in Bani Gala, on the edge of Islamabad.
“The whole area is under surveillance of law enforcement agencies, while deployment of law enforcers is building up in front of the residence of Chairman Imran Khan. Nobody is allowed in or out,” said Qureshi.
Government officials, however, said police and Frontier Constabulary personnel have been deployed at Bani Gala for Imran’s security. The crackdown first began in the federal capital, where the police and paramilitary Frontier Constabulary arrested dozens of the PTI workers, including women, gathered for a youth convention at a local hotel.
Later, the police accompanied by FC personnel stormed the gathering and arrested workers in the presence of PTI leaders Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Asad Umar.
Yesterday, the ruling PML-N imposed Section 144 in the federal capital and neighbouring Rawalpindi for two months.