PTI workers stage violent protest, enter Sindh House in Islamabad by force

Arfa Feroz Zake

PTI workers trying to barge into the Sindh House after breaking its gate here in Islamabad on March 18, 2022. — ONLINE News Agency
PTI workers trying to barge into the Sindh House after breaking its gate here in Islamabad on March 18, 2022. — ONLINE News Agency

  • Workers in Faisalabad and Peshawar also protest against PTI MNAs.
  • Protesters demonstrate against MNAs Noor Alam Khan and Raja Riaz. 
  • Despite police deployment outside Sindh House, workers still break the gate.
  • Following incident, PTI MNAs Attaullah Niazi and Faheem Khan have been arrested for partaking in protest.

After around two dozen PTI MNAs decided to move to the Sindh House to seek refuge from the government's wrath, party workers resorted to violence in Islamabad Friday as they barged into the lodge to throw the lawmakers out.

Hordes of PTI workers — including MNA Ataullah Niazi — participated in the demonstration. The workers chanted slogans against the PTI MNAs and in PM Khan’s support. They also smashed the lotay with their feet. A lota is a derogatory term in Pakistani politics, used for turncoats. 

Meanwhile, the PTI and Insaf Student Federation (ISF) workers in Faisalabad also protested against MNA Raja Riaz at the Zila Council Chowk. The protesters demanded Riaz resign from the party. As a result, a heavy contingent of police was deployed outside the MNA's house for his security. 

The demonstrators held placards and posters depicting the faces of the MNAs covered in black ink. A huge crowd blocked the road and chanted slogans against the MNAs. A similar protest also took place in Peshawar against MNA Noor Alam Khan.

Two PTI MNAs, 12 protesters arrested for participating in protest

Following the incident, two PTI MNAs — Attaullah Niazi and Faheem Khan — and 12 PTI members were arrested by the Islamabad Police for partaking in the protest.

PTI member kicking Sindh Houses gate as the police try to stop him. — ONLINE
PTI member kicking Sindh House's gate as the police try to stop him. — ONLINE

Addressing the violence outside the Sindh House, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed had issued orders to arrest the PTI supporters who were involved in the "unfortunate incident."

Condemning the turn of events, he said that the situation is now "under control" and added that the inspector-general of police Islamabad has been instructed to arrest all people involved in the violent protest, including the two MNAs.

He further said that security has been tightened around the lodge and police have been instructed to take strict actions against protesters. 

'Worst form of terrorism': PPP's Sharjeel Memon

Terming the violent protest outside the Sindh House the “worst form of terrorism”, PPP’s Sharjeel Memon accused the Islamabad police of not taking action and acting as a spectator.

The MPA further said: "It is the failure of the Islamabad Police and the interior ministry as "such an attack on government property has been unprecedented." 

“PTI’s tigers were involved in the attack at the Sindh House but the police remained silent,” Memon said, adding that several MNA’s are present in Sindh House along with their families.

He warned the government that if such "terrorist attacks" are carried out again, then PTI MNAs will have to "face the consequences."

Disgruntled PTI MNA claims to receive threats

Following PTI members' protest against Noor Alam Khan, he took to Twitter and claimed that he and his sons are receiving threats.

"Receiving threats telling me what we did with Benazir Bhutto shaheed and Bashir Bilour shaheed will do with you and your three sons. I saved others numbers who have given threats present leadership will be responsible [sic]."

'Only option left for you is thuggery': Maryam

Following the incident, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz took to Twitter and wrote that the government should "go home" if it has any sense of shame left.

"God willing, you will not be able to save the government, but if you have any sense of shame left in you, then go home," she wrote. 

Maryam further wrote that since the government has not been "elected," it had no reason to show resistance.  "The only option left for you is to resort to thuggery, but that will also backfire."

'How many people will [the govt] stop?': Fawad Chaudhry

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry, while reacting to the development, tweeted that the Sindh House is situated in a "sensitive area" in the proximity of the Chief Justice House, ministers' colony, and the residences of other important personalities. 

"PPP and PML-N turncoats should shift from [the Sindh House to some other place] otherwise, this show will continue throughout the month," he said. "How many people will [the government] stop?"

'PTI will warn workers who vandalised Sindh House': Gill

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill said the arrested MNAs will be released on his personal surety, following the legal procedures.

Condemning the protest outside the Sindh House, the SAPM regretted the situation and said: “It shouldn’t have happened.”

He further said the PTI will warn the workers who vandalised the Sindh House by breaking the door. 

“The party will ask its workers to protest peacefully within the ambit of the law,” he added.

Talking about the party’s disgruntled leader Riaz, Gill said: “Raja Riaz was not worthy enough to get votes on the party’s tickets,” adding that people will react if the MNAs turn their back on the prime minister. “The nation is standing with Imran Khan,” he added.

Recalling yesterday’s incident when Gill used profanity against PTI MNA Ramesh Kumar, the SAPM said that he is taking his words back. “No one would bat an eye if I use this word in English,” he added.

“What else do we call a person who engages in p*mping,” said Gill while talking about the PTI workers inside the Sindh House. He went on to say that “people's consciences are being bought through sacks full of money.”

'Sindh govt to lodge FIR against PTI workers': Murtaza Wahab

Advisor to the Chief Minister of Sindh on Law Murtaza Wahab took to Twitter and said that the Sindh government has decided to lodge a first information report (FIR) against PTI members who vandalised the Sindh House in Islamabad.

"PTI lawmakers & workers have yet again proven that #Sindh House needs protection & more deployment of Sindh Police & SSU is needed," he tweeted, adding that the FIRs will be lodged under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) and the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

Former president and PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari also condemned the attack on Sindh House and said that "if Imran Khan had enough numbers [to win the vote of no-confidence against him], he would have shown power in the Parliament."

"Imran Khan did not attack the Sindh House but the symbol of Sindh in the federation," Zardari said, adding that Imran Khan also hurt Pakistan's federal identity [through this act], which is unbearable.

"The people of Pakistan are watching who has democratic values and they know who wants to spread chaos and push the country towards anarchy."

On the other hand, the Islamabad Police have registered an FIR on behalf of the state against the two PTI MNAs and the workers involved in the protest.

PTI workers stage violent protest, enter Sindh House in Islamabad by force

'Unfortunate of govt to doubt their MNAs': Bilawal

Speaking during Geo News' programme "Aaj Shahzaib Khanzada Ke Saath," PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said that it is "unfortunate" of the government to doubt its own MNAs. 

"The dissident members of the PTI were not raising their voices against the incompetence of the government for the last three years," said Bilawal. "And now, the premier and his ministers are forbidding these MNAs from exercising their democratic right." 

He said that instead of pressuring its MNAs, the PTI led-government should either complete its 172 members for the vote of no-confidence or resign from the office. 

"We must conduct the elections as soon as possible. Our goal is not to overthrow the government," he said. "We will not adopt any kind of undemocratic methods."