90 injured as police, PTI workers clash in capital


Protesters torch two dozen vehicles

Zubair Qureshi

The workers of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Saturday repeated the Lahore episode and vented their anger in Islamabad’s judicial complex where their leader and former Prime Minister Imran Khan had come for appearance before Additional Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal’s court in Tosha Khana case. Judge Zafar Iqbal had issued Imran Khan’s non-bailable arrest warrants of the former prime minister in Tosha Khana case. It was though a pleasant day and the weather was cloudy but the law enforcing agencies (LEA) personnel were tense since morning as a couple of days earlier they had witnessed scenes of torture in Lahore, even petrol bomb attacks on policemen by PTI workers.

As Imran Khan arrived in the Judicial Complex much later than the court’s time, the policemen let his vehicle in, however, when they tried to stop other vehicles in the convoy, the PTI workers got angry and started pelting stones at them. As a result, the police that was prepared for any untoward incident resorted to baton charge, however, the emboldened PTI workers instead of retreating started torturing them, setting the police vans on fire and torching the motorbikes and police vans.

According to the Islamabad police spokesperson, two dozen motorbikes were torched by the armed workers of the PTI. They not only created anarchy but also injured around 90 policemen, the police spokesperson added. The angry workers of the PTI also set trees, plants and bushes on fire inside the Judicial Complex as well as outside the nearby buildings. The hide and seek between the police and the PTI workers continued for around three hours and in the action a senior police officer Superintendent Police (SP) Malik Jamil Zafar also got injured. One could also see angry former MNAs and current Senators of the PTI shouting at the police when they were stopped from entering the judicial complex’s premises. Among the leaders of the PTI who lost their temper and threatened the police of dire consequences, included Maleeka Bukhari and a number of other parliamentarians. The policemen looked nervous when at the end of the day they learned that the Additional Judge in whose court Imran Khan was to appear had allowed Imran Khan to keep sitting in his vehicle and sign the attendance sheet from there. Imran Khan, like a victor, returned after signing and without even appearing before the judge. In this way his indictment was delayed once again.

During all this while, the PTI workers kept chanting anti-government slogans and waving victory signs to each other. While talking to Pakistan Observer, a senior police official said they were feeling bad at the ‘protocol’ given to Imran Khan by the judge. This is quite demoralizing as our men were injured and we faced torture and death threats but instead of a reprimand to Imran and his workers, it seemed the PTI they were given a pat on the back by the court, he said.