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Protests break out across Pakistan after ECP disqualifies Imran Khan

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ISLAMABAD: PTI leader Imran Khan’s disqualification from holding public offices by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Friday steeped the country into agitation as angry PTI workers started protests against the decision, seen as a massive political blow to Khan’s party.

Following the announcement of the verdict, chaotic scenes were witnessed outside the ECP office where enraged PTI workers converged in large numbers, chanting slogans against the government.

According to police sources, three major arteries leading to Islamabad have been blocked by the district administrator to avoid any untoward incident.

The Islamabad traffic police advised commuters to use Peshawar Road or Lehtrar Road as Chungi No 26 and Athal Chowk in Bhara Kahu area have been closed to all types of traffic due to the protests and security concerns.

In Peshawar, protesters blocked a road near Pir Zakordi bridge and another near Stadium Chowk. They also put traffic on hold after burning tyres on the Motorway near the toll plaza.

Meanwhile, in Karachi, protesters led by party leaders Ali Zaidi, Firdous Shamim Naqvi, Mehmood Moulvi, and others staged a sit-in outside the Sindh ECP office. Reportedly, PTI workers tried to force their way into the ECP building but were repelled by the police amid thunderous slogan-chanting. 

In Charsadda protesters thronged the Farooq-e-Azam Chowk, where they were confronted by the ANP workers. Both sides shouted slogans against each other in the presence of a heavy contingent of police; however, no clash was reported.

Swabi also emerged on the protest map after PTI cohorts barricaded the Mardan and Jehangir roads for traffic. Life in Shabqadar was also reported to have suffered from the PTI protests. 

However, part of Mardan was seen cheering Imran Khan’s disqualification by distributing sweets among each other. A poor labourer from Mardan in a video message said he was so happy that Khan was gone. “I am poor so I could only buy half a kg of sweetmeat,” the labourer said.

According to reports pouring in from Naushehra, hundreds of fuming Khan fans crowded at Shawera Chowk and recorded their protest, which is currently underway. 

Moreover, Mangora Road in Swat has also been closed by the protesters.

PTI’s supporters have also kicked off a protest at Shahdra Chowk in Lahore.

On the contrary,  Hafizabad, a PML-N stronghold, was a scene of celebration with the N-league workers rejoicing over the ECP’s decision saying Imran Khan’s chapter had finally come to an end.

PTI youths blocked the M5 Motorway near Billiwala area in Multan’s suburbs, according to reports, while protesters sat in the middle of Delhi-Multan road in Vehari, bringing the heavy traffic to a halt. 

Chinot also saw disturbance as agitation hit the city after Khan’s disqualification as PTI workers assembled outside DHQ office in Satellite Town to decry the decision.

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Meeting with the President: The Need for Preventive Measures to Avoid Expensive Treatment

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According to President Dr. Arif Alvi, adopting preventative measures against various ailments is essential to avoiding costly treatment, and these practices would also lessen the strain on the healthcare system.

He was speaking with a Pakistan National Heart Association team when they paid him a visit at Aiwan-e-Sadr.

The President received a report from the delegation detailing the organization’s successes and operations.

The President emphasised the need to raise public awareness of the need of taking preventative steps to ward off heart disease and non-communicable illnesses.

In addition, he emphasised the need of the media, the local populace, mosques, and non-governmental organisations in raising this kind of knowledge in addition to using the newest media outlets to disseminate awareness.

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Meeting with COAS: Gen Asim to Reach National Agreement on Reducing Intolerance, ASP Shehrbano

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Lady Police Officer Syeda Shehrbano Naqvi has received praise from Army Chief General Syed Asim Munir for calming a tense situation and defending a woman in Ichra Bazaar, Lahore, from a violent crowd.

When the Army Chief met with Assistant Superintendent of Police Syeda Shehrbano Naqvi in Rawalpindi, he emphasised the value of social cohesion and the necessity of national agreement on reducing bigotry.

He acknowledged the important role Pakistani women have played in all spheres of society since the country’s independence and stated that because of their skill, perseverance, and dedication, they have made a name for themselves both domestically and internationally.

According to the Army Chief, women play a crucial role in Pakistani culture and are respected in both our social and religious ethos.

He placed a strong emphasis on the rule of law and cautioned against enforcing laws on oneself when there are legal channels available to resolve issues and complaints.

Syed Asim Munir emphasised the enduring theme of love and generosity found in Islam, pointing out that arbitrary measures based on heresy damage society’s perspective.

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Elections

Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri’s JUI-F resignation from the Senate

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Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani received the JUI-F leader’s resignation, which he accepted.

In the National Assembly, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri will be sworn in as a member.

Following their victories in the general elections on February 8 for the Balochistan Assembly, Senators Sarfraz Bugti and Prince Umar Ahmedzai had already announced their resignations from the Senate.

Prior carer Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani received the resignation of Federal Interior Minister Bugti, which he accepted.

In a similar vein, Senator Prince Umar Ahmedzai of the Balochistan Awami Party resigned from the Senate following his election to the provincial legislature.

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