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25 Arrested as PTI Workers and Police Clash During Election Rally

On Sunday, clashes erupted between PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) workers and police during an election rally at Teen Talwar in Karachi, leading to the arrest of at least 25 people.

The police claimed that PTI did not have permission to hold the rally in the Red Zone, while the party argued that it was being denied its constitutional right to campaign. Leaders from major political parties, including PPP, PML-N, and JUI-F, continued their election campaigns across the country.

According to witnesses, PTI activists attempted to block the road, prompting police to use tear gas to disperse them. The situation escalated as PTI workers allegedly threw stones at the police, resulting in injuries.

Additional police forces were called in, using tear gas and baton charges to disperse the crowd. The South Deputy Inspector General of Police stated that PTI held the rally without obtaining a no-objection certificate and that violence ensued when they were stopped.

Following the clashes, 25 individuals were arrested, and an inquiry was ordered into reports of mistreatment of media personnel by the police. The PTI spokesperson claimed they had informed the district administration about the rally and accused the police of beating female activists. The party threatened to protest if the detained workers were not released, alleging bias by the district administration and police.

The PTI shared videos on social media, accusing the police of arresting peaceful protesters and vandalizing their rally. PTI Secretary General Omar Ayub Khan condemned the police action, emphasizing the constitutional right of citizens to hold peaceful rallies during election campaigns.

In a separate incident, PTI leader Hammad Azhar reported the arrest of his father, an octogenarian and former Punjab governor, ahead of an election rally in Lahore. Hammad Azhar criticized the arrest, describing it as a violation of democratic and constitutional rights.

The PTI termed the arrests as highly condemnable and claimed that their candidates were being hindered from conducting peaceful election rallies, contrasting this with the freedom given to other political parties.

Imran Khan had earlier directed all ticket holders to hold rallies, warning that failure to do so would result in the cancellation of their tickets. Despite the arrests, the PTI expressed confidence that the incidents would not negatively impact their election campaign and might even garner sympathy votes. The party also planned to launch its manifesto on the same day.

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