ISLAMABAD: Charged protesters of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) on Monday broke into the headquarters of the Pakistan Television (PTV), a state-owned media enterprise.
As soon as angry protesters entered the news headquarters of the state-owned television channel, they took over the programming control room and transmission was taken off air temporarily. It was later restored after the army stepped in to vacate the building.
Protesters were also seen trashing the office and spitting on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s portrait.
|Protesters hit a poster bearing the image of PM Nawaz with shoes after storming the headquarters of PTV. — Photo by AFP|
In a series of tweets, Radio Pakistan described the ongoing situation at the PTV headquarters.
Shakeel, a producer at PTV Karachi office, told Dawn that transmission from Karachi was on air.
Army was called in to bring out the protesters who began to come out of the channel’s HQ after the troops asked them to leave. No violence was reported during the evacuation.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan later said that those who stormed the PTV headquarters' premises could not belong to his party.
Imran, Qadri instigated attack on PTV: Rashid
Following the attack on state run PTV, the federal government termed it an act of "aggression and violence".
The government said that action would be taken in accordance with the law against those responsible for the attack.
"Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri cannot absolve themselves from this act of lawlessness as their workers acted on what both the leaders were instigating from last 17 days", said Pervaiz Rashid, Federal Minister for Information.
"The attack on our national television network is not only deplorable but also barbaric", the minister said.
He also said that bringing such a threat and destruction to a state asset is not justifiable.
"They have agitated their workers and provoked them to violence. They are both responsible and will have to face the law", Rashid said.