Road blockades in parts of KP as PTI activists protest bid on Imran’s life

Published November 5, 2022
PTI workers block the Peshawar Motorway on Friday against the gun attack on party chief Imran Khan. — White Star
PTI workers block the Peshawar Motorway on Friday against the gun attack on party chief Imran Khan. — White Star

PESHAWAR: Like other parts of the country, leaders and workers of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf demonstrated in parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa condemning gun attack on their party chief and former prime minister, Imran Khan.

Shouting slogans against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz-led federal government, the angry protesters blocked main arteries in their respective areas and set fire to old tyres troubling motorists, motorcyclists and commuters.

In Peshawar, dozens of PTI activists blocked the Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway after 3pm. It was closed to traffic until night.

The protesters took to the streets after Jumma prayers.

The PTI activists demonstrated on the Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway only. Smooth flow of vehicular traffic was reported in other parts of the provincial capital.

Spokesman for the government Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif condemned the gun attack on Mr Imran and demanded a probe into the ‘heinous act through a transparent committee’.

In a video message, Mr Saif said those behind the assassination attempt had mistakenly believed that they would frighten the PTI chief and his supporters away with such tactics.

He said interior minister Rana Sanaullah should be interrogated in light of his ‘criminal record’.

Street protests were also staged in Hazara division’s Mansehra, Torghar, Upper and Lower Kohistan districts.

The participants shouted slogans against the PML-N’s government in the centre and demanded an immediate arrest of the brains behind the Imran murder conspiracy.

In Haripur, too, roads were blocked by PTI workers suspending traffic for long hours.

Minister Arshad Ayub, MPA Akbar Ayub and former minister Yousuf Ayub led protesters, who converged on the Siddique Akbar Chowk and blocked the GT Road.

They also blocked the roads to interchanges of Hazara Motorway by lighting bonfires amid sloganeering.

The speakers said the bid on the life of popular leader Imran Khan was a conspiracy to start ‘armed conflict’ in the country.

They said the PTI would expose those conspirators at the end of the anti-government long march in Islamabad.

The speakers said Mr Imran was striving for the nation’s real freedom and couldn’t be frightened by gun attacks. They said the march on Islamabad would continue until the federal government announced fresh elections in the country.

In Swabi, too, the PTI activists took to the streets against gun attack on Imran and demanded strict punishment of culprits.

They reached the Karnal Sher Khan Chowk from different parts of the district shouting slogans against the federal government.

The protesters said they were ready to render their lives for Imran and his cause.

Street protests against the attempt on Imran’s life were also reported in parts of Lower Dir district with participants shouting slogans for their party chief and against the federal government.

They said their peaceful protests would continue until snap elections were announced.

The protesters staged a sit-in Chakdara interchange of the Swat Motorway and blocked it to traffic. They dispersed in the evening.

The PTI workers from other parts of the district joined the sit-in and reiterated the demands of Mr Imran.

The PTI protested the bid on Imran’s life in Shangla district by blocking roads in Alpuri, Puran and other areas.

The participants shouted slogans against the federal government and interior minister Rana Sanaullah over the gun attack.

Scores of PTI activists took to the streets in Bajaur tribal district and blocked the main road to Peshawar.

Provincial minister Anwar Zeb Khan, PTI district president and MNA Gul Zafar Khan, MNA Guldad Khan, Nawagai tehsil council chairman Dr Khalilur Rehman and several other party leaders addressed the demonstration.

Rallies were also taken out in Mohmand tribal district to condemn the attempt on the life of Mr Imran.

Local MNA Sajid Khan Mohmand a demonstration in Ghalanai area. Shouting slogans, they set fire to old tyres outside the press club building and blocked the Peshawar-Bajaur Road for two hours suspending traffic.

Swat district’s Matta, Barikot, Kalam, Khwazakhela and Mingora areas also reported demonstrations against gun attack on the PTI chairman in Wazirabad.

Local MNAs, MPAs and PTI workers and leaders attended rallies and said they would take revenge from those behind the attack.

The Mingora protest was led by local MNA Saleemur Rehman and city mayor Shahid Khan. Angry protestors burned tyres, blocked roads and said they wouldn’t rest until the culprits were arrested and punished. They also said they would march on Islamabad carrying weapons.

Meanwhile, a protest by PTI activists outside the Mardan Press Club continued for the second consecutive day on Friday.

The participants led by PTI MPAs Abdus Salam Afridi, Iftikhar Ali Mashwani, Tufail Anjum and Zahir Shah Toru shouted slogans against the federal government over attack on their party chief. Carrying party flags, they declared attempt on the life of Imran a cowardly attack.

Dera Ismail Khan also reported the blocking of highways and roads by PTI workers against the Imran gun attack.

Tehsil mayor Umar Amin Khan Gandapur had given the call for street protests.

In a statement, the mayor, who is the brother of former federal minister and PTI leader Ali Amin Khan Gandapur, urged party workers to block roads.

The PTI workers by leader Kamran Shah blocked the Dera-Chashma Road at Syedallian Adda and staged a sit-in suspending traffic for long hours.

The Dera-Peshawar Road was also blocked at Shorkot Adda with PTI activists Latif Niazi, Nawaz Khan and Khan Amjad Khan leading protesters.

The Indus Highway was blocked outside the main gate of Gomal University, the Dera-Daraban Road near the Mufti Mahmood Hospital and the Indus Highway at Khatm-i-Nabuwat Chowk in in Paroa tehsil. MNA Mohammad Yaqoob Shaikh led the Paroa road blockade. The protesters also set tyres on fire.

The commuters and motorists complained about massive traffic jams.

Former federal minister Ali Amin Gandapur issued a message and said PTI workers should block all roads until all three named by the party leadership for gun attack on Imran resigned from their respective positions.

Published in Dawn, November 5th, 2022

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