Supporters storm sensitive installations, including GHQ
Metro bus suspended
FBISE, Pindi board, Cambridge cancel exams

(Clockwise from top) Traffic goes haywire on Islamabad Expressway, rocks litter Faizabad bridge, a woman is arrested by women police on Srinagar Highway while students walk towards Rawalpindi from Faizabad after PTI Chairman Imran Khan supporters staged protests against his arrest on Wednesday. — Photos by Mohammad Asim
(Clockwise from top) Traffic goes haywire on Islamabad Expressway, rocks litter Faizabad bridge, a woman is arrested by women police on Srinagar Highway while students walk towards Rawalpindi from Faizabad after PTI Chairman Imran Khan supporters staged protests against his arrest on Wednesday. — Photos by Mohammad Asim

RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) supporters in Islamabad and Rawalpindi took to the streets on Tuesday to protest the arrest of party chairman Imran Khan who was detained on the premises of the judicial complex in the federal capital by a contingent of Rangers.

In Rawalpindi, a group of PTI supporters stormed the General Headquarters and managed to break the main gate of the building. The enraged protesters, who were carrying batons, gathered outside the GHQ, smashed a statue and then forced their entry inside the GHQ after breaking its gate. A viral video showed some protesters entering the building and calling others to join them as they moved forward. However, they were pushed back by police personnel before they could move ahead.

Protesters also smashed windowpanes of Hamza Camp (erstwhile Ojhri Camp) and desperately attempted to force their way inside. According to eyewitnesses, gunfire was also heard outside the camp, but it could not be confirmed who fired the shots.

Murree Road, Bank Road, Saddar, Liaquat Bagh and other parts of the city also witnessed violent scenes, leaving two police officials – Waris Khan DSP Tahir Sikandar and Ratta Amral SHO Chaudhry Riaz – injured.

Clashes were also reported at Faizabad, Committee Chowk, Liaquat Bagh, Iqbal Road, and Fawara Chowk as police fired teargas shells to disperse small groups of protesters. The use of teargas also caused breathing problems for people residing in areas near Murree Road and Saddar.

In the downtown area, routine activity in markets and bazaars was witnessed. Though people bought groceries more than routine to avoid the closure of markets, the traders said that there was no need to panic as the markets and bazaars will be opened as per routine.

“Due to the closure of roads, there is some problem but we closed the shops late at night,” said Rawalpindi Traders Association President Sharjeel Mir.

On the other hand, a police crackdown against protesters was underway, as some arrests were made and FIRs were expected to be registered with the Waris Khan and Ratta Amral police against the PTI supporters. Till the filing of this report, clashes between the police and PTI supporters were ongoing at Committee Chowk and General Post Officer (GPO) in Saddar.

Protests in Islamabad

A number of roads, including the Faizabad intersection, were blocked by PTI supporters. Ali Nawaz Awan and Raja Khurram Nawaz led a group of protesters on the Expressway near Koral and blocked the road.

They alleged that Mr Khan was kidnapped. While protests were being held in different areas of the city, students left educational institutions/universities, and offices were closed early in light of protests.

Mohammad Tahir, while talking toDawn, said that he decided to close his factory in Sector I-10 earlier and directed his workers to reach their homes at the earliest. “I have told them that they should ask me at night or early in the morning whether the factory would open on Wednesday (today),” he said.

The protests in twin cities also resulted in the suspension of the metro bus service.

Metro Bus General Manager Shumaila Mohsin told Dawn that the transit authority suspended the metro operation soon after the reports of the protests. She was unsure about the resumption of bus service today.

Educational activities

Some university students, including the International Islamic University Islamabad, left for their houses early after getting information that the buses may not operate.

The National University of Modern Languages and Pir Mehr Ali Shah-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi decided to conduct online classes today. However, Fatima Jinnah Women University would remain closed on May 10 as per its notification.

Some private educational institutions announced a holiday for Wednesday, but there were no orders from the government regarding the closure of schools and colleges.

Rawalpindi Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education spokesman Arslan Cheema said that the BISE had postponed the SSC Part-I annual papers. Islamic Education paper was supposed to be held today.

Similarly, the British Council also postponed all exams scheduled for Wednesday.

The Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) has also cancelled the Pak Studies exam on Wednesday.

“We have decided to cancel the paper which was to be held on Wednesday,” FBISE Chairman Qaiser Alam told Dawn.

However, the schools and colleges under the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) will remain open as per routine.

“As for now, this is our decision to keep educational institutions open,” an FDE officer told Dawn.

On the other hand, private school managements are taking decisions of keeping their institutions open or close on an individual basis, with some opting to remain closed on Wednesday.

In Hazro, the charged protesters led by PTI District President Qazi Ahmed Akbar blocked G.T. Road near Hattian.

Later, they took DSP Jehangir Joya hostage and also subjected him to torture. Protests were also held in Wah, Taxila and Fatehjang. Due to massive protests, traffic remained jammed on various inter-city and inter-district routes causing much inconvenience to the commuters.

Medical team for Imran

Polyclinic on Tuesday constituted a seven-member medical board for the medical examination of the former prime minister Imran Khan.

According to a notification issued by Polyclinic, the board was chaired by Consultant Physician Dr Faridullah Shah and other members are Dr Mamoon Qadir (cardiologist), Dr Muhammad Akhtar Khan (orthopaedic Surgeon), Dr Saima Shah (radiologist), Dr Tassawar Mirza (general surgeon), Dr Imtiaz Ahmed (chief medical officer) and Dr Khadija Iftikhar (pathologist).

Polyclinic Spokesperson Dr Abdul Jabbar Bhutto, while talking to Dawn, said that the medical board members were directed to remain on standby as they could be called anytime. However medical examination could not be held till the filing of this story.

Pims Spokesperson Dr Haider Abbasi told Dawn said that Pims also constituted a five-member medical board but medical examination could not be conducted till the filing of this story.

— Kashif Abbasi, Aamir Yasin & Amjad Iqbal also contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, May 10th, 2023

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