KARACHI: The gun attack on Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan in Wazirabad triggered street protests in Karachi and other parts of Sindh on Thursday.
While Mr Khan suffered wounds in his legs, several of his close associates were also hit in the burst for an automatic weapon.
Large groups of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf workers took to the street, burnt tyres, staged sit-in and blocked key road and intersections causing traffic jams on almost all main thoroughfares of the metropolis.
As soon as the news of the attack on PTI chairman hit the headlines, party workers started holding demonstrations in many areas of the city.
The protesters converged on key intersections of the city amid calls from their leaders on social media to protest against the “assassination attempt” on Imran Khan. Over a dozen intersections and key points in the city witnessed angry protests that continued into night hours.
A number of workers, including women, held a march from PTI’s office, called Insaf House, to Sharea Faisal and staged a sit-in on main Nursery bus stop. The protest led to complete blockade of the track between Karachi airport and Metropole Hotel, causing traffic jams on other roads leading to Shrea Faisal, and hundreds of vehicles turned to service lane and streets of neighbouring PECHS.
The same situation was witnessed at Five Star intersection in North Nazimabad, Power House intersection in North Karachi, Hub River Road, Shah Faisal Colony, Sohrab Goth, Qayyumabad and Teen Talwar, Clifton.
A senior leader of PTI Karachi chapter and MPA Shahzad Qureshi said that there was a spontaneous reaction from people across the city though the party had announced protests at only five major points.
“But the people are coming out of their homes and taking to streets on their own and within no time we are witnessing protest at around a dozen places of Karachi where a number of people, including women and children, are registering their protest against attack on their beloved leader in a peaceful manner,” he said.
Though the protests remained by and large peaceful, there were a few complaints of aggressive posture on the part of a few enraged workers at some points where vehicles were denied way to block roads. In a video that went viral on the social media, a group of PTI workers was seen forcibly disrupting traffic movement on a road and beating up a rider for defying their directives.
Protests in other towns
In Hyderabad, PTI workers tried to force closure of shops in different areas and staged protest at Hyder Chowk, Latifabad Unit-2 and Autobahn Road.
Enraged workers of PTI took to the streets in several Sindh towns as well.
Activists blocked Katchehry Road in Dadu and staged a demonstration outside the local press club. They marched through roads before staging a demonstration at Ghanta Ghar Chowk. The activists took out processions in the towns of Johi, Mehar, Sehwan, Kotri, and Jamshoro towns.
Similar protests were staged in Nawabshah, Sakrand, Kazi Ahmed, Moro, Kandiaro and Naushahro Feroze towns where PTI workers blocked roads and highways.
Published in Dawn, November 4th, 2022