May 11, 2023
By Maryam Missal
As the situation remains tense across Pakistan following the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan, the violence in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been deadly with at least six protesters reported dead in clashes with police.
On May 10, miscreants attacked the office of Radio Pakistan in Peshawar, drawing condemnation from the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) today. In a statement, PFUJ President Afzal Butt and Secretary General Arshad Ansari have called for an immediate inquiry into the attack on Radio Pakistan as well as reported incidents of violence against journalists and media workers covering the riots in various parts of Pakistan.
The Chagi Monument was set on fire by the protestors. Despite the suspension of mobile internet services and restricted access to social media platforms such as Twitter, videos of an enraged mob setting fire to the Frontier Corps School and College building in Blambat, Dir Lower, around 7 PM on Wednesday, were widely circulated online. It is reported that the institution was built at the cost of tens of millions.
Prolonged clashes between PTI workers and the KP police were reported from Assembly Chowk to Qila Bala Hisar.
In clashes between police and protestors, in Peshawar and Kohat, which continued all afternoon on Wednesday, at least six people were reportedly killed while 53 protesters and 15 policemen were injured. Cases were registered under terrorism charges, prompting swift and widespread crackdowns against PTI protestors and leaders, confirmed by the police.
35 people were booked while 34 motorcyclists were detained by Mardan police. Police further state that a case has been lodged against more than 50 members of the PTI for violating section 144 (prohibiting assembly of four or more people in an area) of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr. P.C) in Tank. Nine PTI workers in Tank and 33 in Hangu have been arrested for violation of section 144 so far.
Meanwhile, former PTI MPAs Malik Liaquat Ali, Shafiullah and Azam Khan were detained under section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance 1960 in Dir Lower.
As of the filing of this report, several videos of enraged protestors are circulating on social media, who appear to be gearing up for possible clashes with the Police and the other armed forces. On the other hand, the police and armed forces are on high alert to control the mob by any means possible.