Supporters of Imran Khan on Tuesday stormed the Pakistan Army headquarters in Rawalpindi and the Corps Commander’s residence in Lahore after the former prime minister was arrested in connection with a corruption case.
Khan, who travelled from Lahore to capital Islamabad, was at the Islamabad High Court when the paramilitary Rangers broke open the glass window and arrested him after beating lawyers and Khan’s security staff.
As the news of his arrest spread, massive protests broke out in several cities across Pakistan. Protesters at several places turned violent and burned police vehicles and damaged public property.
Khan’s supporters smashed the army’s massive Rawalpindi headquarters’ main gate. Protesters shouted anti-government slogans as the troops exercised restraint.
In Lahore, a large number of PTI workers stormed into the Corps Commander Lahore residence and smashed the gate and window-panes. The army personnel present on duty there, however, did not try to stop the enraged protesters who surrounded them and chanted slogans against the ‘handlers’ of the PML-N led government in the military establishment.
The protesters held a demonstration in the Cantonment area. Lahore was virtually cut off from the rest of the province because of the protest on main roads including the entry and exit points.
The caretaker Punjab government called the Rangers to control the law-and-order situation in the most populous province and imposed section 144 under which not more than five people can gather at one point.
According to the Home Department, the ban on gatherings will remain in place for two days. The Punjab government also requested the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to suspend Internet and mobile services in the areas where violent protests took place.
PTI workers also pelted stones at the residence of Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah in Faisalabad. Protests were also held in Multan, Jhang, Gujranwala, Sheikhupura, Kasur, Khanewal, Vehari, Gujranwala, Hafizabad and Gujrat cities.