The Core Committee of the PTI has called for staging “peaceful” protests across the country against the arrest of its chairman in the Toshakhana criminal case.
Vice Chairman of PTI Shah Mahmood Qureshi presided over the emergency meeting to discuss the PTI chief’s arrest and initiate a legal process for his release, the party said in a statement.
It went on to add that the PTI chief was convicted in a forged case and was arrested according to a plan.
Earlier, the party also called an emergency meeting presided over by Qureshi who is likely to lead the party in Khan’s absence.
Imran Khan was arrested on Saturday shortly after an Islamabad sessions court found him guilty of corrupt practices and sentenced him to three years in prison.
Many of the PTI leaders called for peaceful protest. The word ‘peaceful’ was also used in the social media trends launched by the PTI.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi released a video message urging party supporters to leave their homes and take to the street. “Come out with your wives and children,” he said.
Qureshi presided over an emergency meeting of the party that began at around 3pm.
“Imran Khan has been arrested. PEACEFUL protest is every Pakistanis constitutional right,” PTI leader Omar Ayub tweeted.
The Peshawar chapter of the party has announced a ‘token protest’ in the city. Arbab Sher Ali said the PTI traders’ wing will observe a shutter-down strike.
A couple of hours after Khan was arrested, PTI supporters started arriving at his Zaman Park residence.
Police arrested at least three people.
A small group of lawyers held a demonstration immediately after the arrest, but it was largely outnumbered by the policemen deployed on the roads leading to Zaman Park.
Section 144 imposed in several KP districts amid PTI’s call for protests
Meanwhile, the authorities imposed Section 144 in different districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The deputy commissioner of Karak notified the imposition of Section 144 in the district and directed the immediate arrest of those who violate the order. He said that no one will be allowed to disturb the law and order. The police have also prepared to deal with possible protests.
Section 144 has also been imposed in Tank City of South Waziristan and district Khyber to maintain the law and order situation amid a call for protest by the PTI.
According to the Tank administration, Section 144 will be in force from August 5 to August 9, where gatherings of more than five people and display of all types of weapons will be banned.