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ISLAMABAD: The supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) who gathered at D-Chowk to express solidarity with Prime Minister Imran Khan, on Saturday, clashed with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders where they were talking to the media on the same spot.

A large number of PTI workers from twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi gathered at D-Chowk when the government and its allied partners assembled in National Assembly for a vote of confidence to Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The PTI workers were carrying pictures of Prime Minister Imran Khan, placards inscribed with slogans in his support and shouted slogans against Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), saying “the group called PDM is the enemy of country”.

Meanwhile, PML-N leaders including former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Khurram Dastagir and Musadiq Malik reached the same venue to address the media ahead of a special session of National Assembly, convened for a vote of confidence to Prime Minister Imran Khan escalated the tensions between opposition lawmakers and government supporters.

At one stage, someone threw a ‘sandal’ at Ahsan Iqbal when he was addressing his workers. PTI and PML-N workers came face to face but police personnel deployed on the occasion controlled the situation.

As soon as PML-N leaders started addressing the media, PTI workers surrounded them and chanted slogans against their leadership loudly to suppress their voices as well as in support of Imran Khan and ruling party which compelled them to end their talks midway.

Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal and Musaddiq Malik and others criticised the PTI government and Prime Minister Khan, and dubbed ‘fascist’ and ‘Hitler.’

They said PM Khan had lost the confidence of the masses, adding he did not have the power to go for a vote of confidence under the Constitution.

Abbasi said the power to seek vote of confidence rested with the President of Pakistan only if he believed the prime minister had lost confidence of lawmakers.

The situation turned ugly when PTI supporters and PML-N leaders started pushing each other and exchanging harsh words. During exchange of harsh words someone – probably a PTI worker – hit Musadiq Malik from behind, following which Malik and Abbasi chased down the man who pushed them to deliver some retaliatory blows.

Later, the PML-N leaders reassembled at another place and blamed the government for the situation. They said they were harassed and manhandled by PTI supporters present there and police did not take any action against those who attacked them.

PML-N leaders said Maryam Aurangzeb was physically manhandled by PTI supporters. Angry Abbasi said such a behavior was reflective of the PTI's tactics and challenged them to a face off on the road in front of the cameras.

“My name is Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and I’m a resident of these mountains…I’m a 62 year old [man],” he added. Dubbing PTI workers as ‘thieves’, he dared them to come face to facer with him, and then change his name if they were left without stretcher.

He also said Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi who hides behind these ‘thieves’ should come forward as people are calling him to justify his tall claims he made with them ahead of elections of turning the country into Switzerland.

Aurangzeb said there was no prime minister in the country as “there is a thug, bully and a terrorist” who “wants to secure a vote of confidence through bullying and terrorism.”

Later, huge contingent of security personnel reached the scene to control the situation and formed a human wall, separating the protesters from the PML-N leaders.

After announcement of result of no confidence, PTI workers moved forward to Constitution Avenue where some PML-N workers gathered in front of parliament lodges, and carrying party flags were also clashed with PTI workers. The PML-N workers were accompanied by Ahsan Iqbal and former Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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