Clashes have been reported between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers and police officers, after imprisoned former prime minister Imran Khan gave calls for rallies ahead of the February 8 general elections.

Numerous PTI supporters attempting to organize rallies in cities like Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar were taken into custody during the crackdown, adding to mounting political tension. Reports also indicate police raids on election offices, confiscation of party paraphernalia, and the removal of banners and panaflexes, allegedly aimed at intimidating party workers and voters.


In Lahore, former Punjab governor and PTI candidate for NA-129, Mian Muhammad Azhar, was arrested by the police during an attempt to lead an election rally in his constituency. He was reportedly released later in the day.

His son, PTI Central Punjab General Secretary Hammad Azhar, took to X (formerly Twitter) and stated, “My 82-year-old father was arrested. He wanted to lead a rally as per his democratic and constitutional rights”.

“Pakistan has today been reduced to a total fascist state with zero human rights or rule of law. One Nawaz Sharif and his daughter calling the shots and ruining the country,” he added.

Despite the challenges, Mian Muhammad Azhar, upon his release, maintained that he had not committed any crime, asserting that his sole offense was organizing an election rally. He highlighted the apparent disparity in treatment, alleging that all political parties were allowed to conduct rallies and public gatherings, except the PTI.

In Karachi, over 20 PTI workers were arrested as the party attempted to conduct an election rally near Clifton Teen Talwar. Violent clashes erupted between PTI workers and the police, turning the area into a battleground. The confrontations resulted in injuries to police officials, including SHO Boat Basin Riaz Niazi, whose jaw was reportedly broken.

Police used baton charges and tear gas to disperse the PTI workers, leading to further injuries among the protesters. The clash disrupted traffic near Teen Talwar, Clifton, for a significant period.

SSP South Sajid Amir Sadozai told Express Tribune that no prior permission was taken by PTI workers to hold a rally in Clifton.

The PTI workers had blocked the road, following which the police asked them to clear the road.

In reply, they attacked the police with stones and sticks as a result more than 10 police personnel including SHO Boat Basin and a lady SHO were injured. SHO Boat Basin’s jaw was broken and he is in critical condition.

Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) chief organiser took to X and said, “They should be dealt with iron hands.”

PTI Secretary General Omar Ayub Khan condemned the actions of Karachi Police, emphasizing the constitutional right of every citizen to hold a peaceful rally during the election campaign.

Similarly, in Peshawar, PTI workers held rallies across various locations in the city, including Ring Road. The police apprehended 30 individuals from Pahari Pura, Faqieerabad, Sharqi, Hayatabad, Khazana, and Sarband.

Moreover, cases were filed against over fifty workers and community leaders.

Seventeen individuals were mentioned in the FIR within the jurisdiction of Paharipura police station, with seven of them being taken into custody. Likewise, Faqeerabad police station detained seven workers.

Sarband police arrested 17 individuals, while Hayatabad and Sharqi police each apprehended three PTI workers.

Earlier, PTI Chakwal candidate Ayyaz Amir reported a peculiar situation emerging in Chakwal involving the police. He highlighted instances of police raids on the homes of prominent local citizens, arrests of their family members, and acts of vandalism against local leaders.

Major election rallies were observed in various constituencies, including Lahore, Sheikhupura, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Sialkot, Okara, Chakwal, Mandi Bahudin, Layyah, Bahawal Nagar, Mansehra, Gagu Mandi, Chitral, Banu, Peshawar, Karachi, Hyderabad, and other cities.