MULTAN/ QUETTA/ SARGODHA/ PESHAWAR/ ISLAMABAD/ HYDERABAD/ LAHORE/ KARACHI:
The fallout of Faisalabad fiasco spread to other parts of the country as protests and roadblocks were carried out by activists of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in all major cities, including the federal capital.
Showing resentment over the alleged state-sponsored violence in Faisalabad, PTI workers took to the streets in Peshawar and other parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Monday evening. They assembled at Hashtnagri Chowk and blocked the main GT Road for traffic for more than half an hour.
PTI workers were chanting slogans against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and other leaders of the ruling party. They continued blocking the thoroughfare for more than half an hour.
They have also threatened of staging a protest rally in front of Governor House Peshawar on Tuesday. Besides Peshawar, similar protest gatherings were reported from several other cities and towns of K-P.
In the federal capital hundreds of PTI activists blocked Islamabad Expressway for almost two hours in protest against the killing of a party activist in Faisalabad. They also blocked Muree Road near Bara Kahu for some time and then dispersed peacefully. No clash between police and protesters was reported.
PTI activists also staged a protest at Aabpara Chowk and burned tyres, next to one of the busiest commercial areas in Islamabad. The protest barely lasted 20 minutes, but it took a while for traffic to normalise as the bonfires still needed to be put out.
Hundreds of PTI workers and supporters gathered at GPO Chowk, Liberty Chowk and Lalik Chowk in Lahore after the party called for protest against the Faisalabad incident. By evening, protesters had also blocked the road leading to Raiwind.
In Multan, more than 1,100 PTI workers and supporters gathered at Nawan Shehr and Kutchery Chowk and blocked the roads for traffic. PTI district president Ijaz Janjua arrived at the demonstration at Kutchery Chowk and addressed the protesters. Hundreds of lawyers joined the demonstration and the district bar announced a strike on Tuesday.
In Sargodha, hundreds of PTI workers and activists staged a sit-in on Sargodha Khushab Road and Sargodha University Road to protest the killing of the PTI worker.
In DG Khan, dozens of PTI workers gathered at Traffic Chowk and held a demonstration. MPA Sardar Ahmad Ali Dareshak and district women’s wing president Dr Shahena Najib Khosa were also present.
The aftershocks of the chaos in Faisalabad reached the port city as well when angry activists of PTI took to the streets, burning tyres and shouting anti-government slogans.
PTI workers gathered at the Insaf House and then blocked Sharae-Faisal, which resulted in massive traffic jam.Workers of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) clashed with PTI activists in Hyderabad at an event where PML-N’s provincial president Ismail Rahu was distributing compensation cheques to the families of bangle workers who died in a building collapse in September this year.
As the ceremony was underway a group of PTI workers while returning from the press club started shouting ‘go Nawaz go’, provoking the PML-N supporters to react with ‘go Imran go’. An exchange of hot words, fists and sticks followed but the larger number of PML-N workers made the PTI supporters run away from the place.
In Quetta, dozens of PTI activists staged a protest demonstration at Manan Chowk. The protesters burned tyres on the Jinnah Road suspending the flow of traffic.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 9th, 2014.
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