(Web Desk)-After around two dozen PTI MNAs decided to move to the Sindh House to seek refuge from the government’s wrath from going against Prime Minister Imran Khan, the party’s workers in Islamabad Friday staged a sit-in and brought “lotay” with them to protest the move.
While the protest started off peacefully at the beginning, it soon took a violent turn as demonstrators broke the gate open and stormed inside the Sindh House. The incident happened despite the presence of a heavy contingent of police outside the lodge.
Hordes of PTI workers — including MNA Ataullah Niazi — participated in the demonstration. The workers chanted slogans against the PTI MNAs and in PM Khan’s support. They also smashed the lotay with their feet. A lota is a derogatory term in Pakistani politics, used for turncoats.
Meanwhile, the PTI and Insaf Student Federation (ISF) workers in Faisalabad also protested against MNA Raja Riaz at the Zila Council Chowk. The protesters demanded Riaz resign from the party. As a result, a heavy contingent of police was deployed outside the MNA’s house for his security.
The demonstrators held placards and posters depicting the faces of the MNAs covered in black ink. A huge crowd blocked the road and chanted slogans against the MNAs. A similar protest also took place in Peshawar against MNA Noor Alam Khan.
Following the incident, two PTI MNAs — Attaullah Niazi and Faheem Khan — and 12 PTI members have been arrested by the Islamabad Police for partaking in the protest.
Addressing the violence outside the Sindh House, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed had issued orders to arrest the PTI supporters who were involved in the “unfortunate incident.”
Condemning the turn of events, he said that the situation is now “under control” and added that the inspector general of police Islamabad has been instructed to arrest all people involved in the violent protest, including the two MNAs.
He further said that security has been tightened around the lodge and police have been instructed to take strict actions against protesters.
Terming the violent protest outside the Sindh House the “worst form of terrorism”, PPP’s Sharjeel Memon accused the Islamabad police of not taking action and acting as a spectator.
The MPA further said: “It is the failure of the Islamabad Police and the interior ministry as “such an attack on government property has been unprecedented.”
“PTI’s tigers were involved in the attack at the Sindh House but the police remained silent,” Memon said, adding that several MNA’s are present in Sindh House along with their families.
He warned the government that if such “terrorist attacks” are carried out again, then PTI MNAs will have to “face the consequences.”
Following PTI members’ protest against Noor Alam Khan, he took to Twitter and claimed that he and his sons are receiving threats.
“Receiving threats telling me what we did with Benazir Bhutto shaheed and Bashir Bilour shaheed will do with you and your three sons. I saved others numbers who have given threats present leadership will be responsible [sic].”
Following the incident, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz took to Twitter and wrote that the government should “go home” if it has any sense of shame left.
“God willing, you will not be able to save the government, but if you have any sense of shame left in you, then go home,” she wrote.
Maryam further wrote that since the government has not been “elected,” it had no reason to show resistance. “The only option left for you is to resort to thuggery, but that will also backfire.”