Pakistan: police action on Imran Khan supporters demonstrating for Palestine
Though different religious parties held pro-Palestinian demonstrations across the country, only those carrying PTI flags were reportedly rounded up
Carrying jailed former prime minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Party's (PTI) flag appears to have become a crime in the country as police arrested a number of supporters in different cities who took part in protests to express solidarity with the people of Palestine.
The police arrested at least 50 workers of PTI on Friday who gathered in Lahore, Islamabad, Vehari, Multan and Gujranwala cities to express solidarity with Palestinians, the party said.
Though different religious parties held pro-Palestinian demonstrations across the country, only those carrying PTI flags were rounded up, the party alleged.
The PTI has strongly condemned the use of state machinery and unlawful detention of peaceful protesters in various parts of the country, who were expressing solidarity and support for the war-ravaged and besieged Palestinians.
A PTI spokesperson termed the use of state machinery against the peaceful protestors as "shameful", expressing surprise that the citizens are being arrested for their "sole crime of expressing solidarity and support for the oppressed Palestinians and carrying PTI flags".
He said it is the continuation of the state's coercive policy based on political revenge since Khan was ousted from power in April last year.
"Denying the right of peaceful protests to the most popular party is shameful, reprehensible," he said, lashing out at the authorities for what he termed their double standards.
Since the attack on military installations in different parts of the country by PTI workers in early May in reaction to the arrest of Khan in a corruption case, the party has not been allowed to take part in any political activity by the military establishment.
Over 10,000 PTI workers are reportedly in jail, including Khan himself.