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Pakistani cities in flames as Imran Khan’s supporters take on the powerful army in street battles

Peshawar in flames as people attack security forces (Photo: Twitter)

With almost all of Pakistan up in flames, the Pakistani Army was deployed in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and even the restive Balochistan province to maintain law and order. Violence was reported from Pakistani capital Islamabad and the cities of Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Karachi, Lahore and others as supporters of former prime minister Imran Khan stepped out on the streets against his arrest.

Pakistani Army properties and residences bore the brunt of people’s anger as many were set on fire and others were vandalised. The scenes resembled those from Sri Lanka of 2021 after the country had defaulted on loans, people did not have food to eat and energy shortages led to long queues. Angry and frustrated masses burnt down the private properties of then Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, blaming them for bringing ruin upon the masses.

Reportedly Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s private house was set on fire in Model Town area of Lahore. It is believed Sharif’s wife lives there, while Shehbaz is believed to be on an extended visit to London for a meeting with brother Nawaz about the political situation in Pakistan.


People even carted away a canon from the army commander’s house in Lahore. For the impoverished masses, who have been managing with food shortages and high inflation, the opulent military residences were a dream. Almost all military areas were attacked by Khan’s supporters, many of whom believe that their leader might be killed in custody by the army.


Gun battles have been reported between workers of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and security forces. The area near the Balahisar Fort in Peshawar was engulfed in violence with firing and teargas shelling as protestors fired and also threw back stones at the security forces.


The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, bordering Afghanistan, which had seen numerous attacks on Pakistani security personnel since the beginning of this year also reported considerable violence. From battling the Taliban militants, the Pakistani security forces are now shielding themselves from their own people.


Irate and unruly mobs even burnt down the historic Radio Pakistan building in Peshawar. It was attacked twice in two days. Mobs also attacked NGO Edhi’s ambulances demanding that their leader Khan be set free.

Also read: London, New York bear brunt of Imran Khan’s arrest as frenzied supporters pour into streets