Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday in a message to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) asked, "In this country, does the judiciary only serve the powerful?"
"Our institutions for justice are controlled... [by a] a corrupt leader who wants to be Amirul Momineen," he said.
The chairman made this statement while addressing a press conference outside his Bani Gala residence in an apparent response to the IHC's remarks earlier this week which questioned under which laws Imran Khan was threatening to lock down Islamabad. The court had also restricted the PTI to holding its demonstration in one part of the capital, and ordered the city administration to ensure the smooth running of daily business in Islamabad on Nov 2.
"I want to ask Justice Siddiqui, that when you made a decision and passed an order permitting us to hold a peaceful protest, and said that containers will not be placed, then why are our activists in jail?" the chief said.
"We have been watching since day before yesterday [Thursday] that our activists are being mistreated, they are being arrested, women are being beaten," he said, adding "they [authorities] have blocked everything, even food is not being permitted to come."
Imran Khan alleged that all these actions were being taken by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to hide his corruption that was exposed in the Panamagate scandal.
"What law is allowing this?" he asked.
"What democracy is this? The courts have made a decision... that decision is being violated in front of the whole country,” the chief said.
Will show Nawaz on Nov 2 what democracy is: Imran Khan
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Saturday vowed to go ahead with his plans of a 'lockdown' of the capital on Nov 2.
Khan advised PTI supporters to travel in groups, saying when they arrive in small numbers the police "puts them in jail".
He also hinted to PTI supporters that instead of taking the main route where police is stationed, they should opt for hidden routes to arrive at the site.
Reiterating his plans to put up a grand show in Islamabad on Nov 2 to seek accountability of the prime minister Khan said: "This is Nawaz Sharif's dictatorship, not a democracy... we will show Nawaz Sharif on Nov 2 what democracy is."
A day after PTI workers skirmished with police in twin cities and scores of protesters were taken into custody, Khan came out of his residence to meet hundreds of supporters who have come to support him parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.
He asked the supporters, many of whom set up camps and spent the night near the PTI chief's residence, about their comfort and directed his party managers to ensure their well being.
Breakfast for the supporters was prepared in large cauldrons. Some PTI workers did warm-up exercises and push-ups in the morning.
Meanwhile, life returned to normal in Islamabad and Rawalpindi on Saturday, as the previous day's crowds dispersed. Traffic flowed as usual although police contingents remained deployed in sensitive areas.
'Activists must come'
PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi has accused the government of blocking routes in KP and Punjab which lead to Islamabad.
"The government is blocking Attock bridge and Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway," he said while talking to DawnNews. "This is a clear violation of court orders."
He said the Punjab government itself "locked down Rawalpindi, shut the Metro, schools and routes for ambulances but we are being blamed for the lockdown".
"Containers are being placed but the people’s spirits are rising everyday."
He urged PTI supporters to reach for the "peaceful protest at any cost".
'Virtual house arrest'
Imran Khan remained under virtual house arrest at his Bani Gala residence on Friday as police teargassed and baton-charged scores of PTI’s workers before bundling them into prison vans in the twin cities.
Later in the evening, the PTI chief emerged from his residence for a brief period along with other party leaders only to tell the media that no government action would deter him from staging the Nov 2 lockdown of Islamabad.
“Wait for Nov 2, a PTI tsunami will sweep even a contingent of 50,000 policemen to D-Chowk,” Khan said. It appeared to be the first indication that the PTI might reach the place located in front of Parliament House where it had staged a sit-in for three months in 2014.
Intermittent clashes between PTI workers and the police took place on different spots in the twin cities. A hide-and-seek between the police and protesters that began after Friday’s prayer, continued till night.
PTI and the government have locked horns since the names of members of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's family appeared in the Panama Papers leaks.
After months of verbal duels between the parties, Imran Khan announced plans to lay siege on the capital on Nov 2, and vowed to stay put until Prime Minister Nawaz resigns or presents himself for accountability in the backdrop of the Panama Papers scandal.
The government remains adamant that it will not allow the PTI to shut down Islamabad and action will be taken against the party according to law if it challenges the writ of the state.
With additional reporting by Sadia Rafay in Bani Gala, Islamabad.