Police fired tear gas shells and baton charged an Imamia Students Organisation (ISO) rally on Sunday in Karachi, protesting against the United States President Donald Trump's recent diatribe.
The organisers of the rally had announced to protest outside the US Consulate, however, police officials said that the protesting students were denied permission to continue the rally beyond Numaish Chowrangi, reported DawnNews.
A heavy contingent of police intercepted the rally after they crossed Numaish Chowrangi and resorted to baton charge and shelling as the organisers of the rally refused to disperse peacefully. Police also used water cannons against the protesting students. TV footage shows that some arrests were also made during the police action.
Dozens of protesters, carrying Pakistani flags and chanting slogans against the US, had assembled at the Numaish Chowrangi to take out a rally to the US Consulate on Maulvi Tamizuddin Khan Road. Roads to the consulate had already been sealed by the city administration, using containers.
ISO and Majlis Wahdat-i-Muslimeen (MWM) have announced press conferences to denounce police action against peaceful protesters.
Provincial Information Minister Nasir Hussain Shah, while speaking to DawnNews, said that the action should not have happened since negotiations were underway.
"Someone has mishandled the situation," he said, adding that action will be taken against whoever on the ground is responsible. He assured that those arrested during the police action would be released shortly. He also ordered Additional IGP Karachi Mushtaq Mahar to launch an enquiry into the matter.
Earlier, this week, US President Trump had lambasted Pakistan while issuing a policy statement on Afghanistan and accused the state of providing safe havens to terrorists. Pakistan, however, strongly rejected the accusations.