Monday, August 28, 2023
KARACHI: The police on Sunday arrested dozens of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) supporters after resorting to baton-charge to disperse their bike rally in the metropolis.
According to details, more than 100 PTI supporters — from different parts of the port city — reached the Nursery bus stop on Sharae Faisal while participating in a bike rally held to express solidarity with their incarcerated leader Imran Khan.
The former prime minister, who was removed from office in April last year via a vote of no-confidence, is currently serving a three-year sentence in Attock jail.
On August 5, Khan was arrested from his Zaman Park residence in Lahore soon after being convicted in the Toshakhana case. A district and sessions court in the federal capital convicted the former prime minister for corrupt practices related to the state gift depository — allegations which he denies.
The 70-year-old cricketer-turned-politician was accused of misusing his premiership to buy and sell gifts in state possession that were received during visits abroad and worth more than 140 million Pakistani rupees ($635,000).
"Charges of misdeclaration of assets have been proven against the PTI chairman," Judge Dilawar mentioned in his judgment. He then handed down Khan three years in jail along with a fine of Rs100,000.
At the Nursery bus stop, the police took several PTI supporters into custody for staging the bike rally.
On the other hand, a number of PTI workers, including women, gathered in the metropolitan city’s Numaish Chowrangi to show their solidarity with the deposed premier. In a bid to disperse the rally, the police baton charged the PTI activists. Subsequently, several supporters of the former ruling party were taken into custody by the law enforcers.
According to the police, six PTI supporters were arrested from Awami Markaz and 10 from Shah Latif Town. “The PTI workers were heading towards Insaf House from Quaidabad,” the police added.
Condemning the police action against the PTI’s supporters, the party’s Karachi chapter president Khurram Sher Zaman said, “Peaceful protest is everyone’s right in a democratic system." He added that several PTI workers were arrested during the city-wide crackdown against the party.