PTI, PAT protesters clash with security forces In Islamabad
ISLAMABAD: Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at thousands of protesters led by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) Chief Dr Tahirul Qadri.
Some 25,000 people began to march on the prime minister’s house late Saturday after talks with the government mediated by the powerful army failed to end the impasse.
Violence broke out after the protesters attempted to remove containers in front of the President House, using a crane.
Follow live updates below.
1:09am: Qadri, Imran may be arrested
Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri may be arrested, DawnNews reported.
Reporter Sanaullah said the administration is seriously considering the idea given how the situation has taken a turn for the worse.
The parliament will be protected at all costs, the administration has said, adding that if protesters try to enter the parliament building itself then the administration will ensure that action is taken to prevent that.
Police has been directed to keep an eye on both leaders and close in on them and if the situation deteriorates further then the two may be arrested.
Over 100 protesters have been arrested and shifted to various police stations.
PTI protesters are reportedly backing off, while PAT supporters continue to advance.
Correspondent Irfan Haider who was present at D-chowk when the protesters started moving towards PM House said that as Qadri and Imran called on activists to advance, police personnel were charged.
Policemen struck their shield with batons in a chorus, with some chanting pro-government slogans. In return, Qadri supporters started to yell “Allah o Akbar”.
The policemen standing in the precincts of the PM House fired tear gas shells to disperse protesters advancing towards the building.
Protesters dragged two policemen into the crowd.
Tahirul Qadri speaking to DawnNews on phone: We are in the thick of it, in the middle of the situation.
Qadri was asked by DawnNews anchorwoman Meher Bokhari as to why he wasn’t seen to be leading from the front. The line cut upon the question.
12:58am: Protesters enter Parliament house
DawnNews reports that charged protesters have now entered Parliament House. They are reportedly breaking their way in.
Imran’s container has pulled up right next to Parliament, despite massive ongoing shelling.
DawnNews also reports that loudspeakers are encouraging protesters forward.
Inside Imran’s container