Pakistan News : Following violent clashes in Lahore, riots erupted in other cities of Punjab as in a latest incident an angry mob of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers Friday stormed a police station and set it to fire here in Quaidabad.
“Hundreds of violent protestors wreaked havoc on the undermanned stationhouse, vandalized it, and then resorted to arson”
Dr Tahirul Qadri’s followers, who were armed with sticks, bricks, and stones, set on the outnumbered cops leaving many injured.
“Had the policemen not run for their lives they could have been killed”, sources quoted an eyewitness as saying.
The agitators also burned down a patrolling vehicle parked outside the stationhouse.
Earlier, supporters of Dr Qadri, clashed with police after authorities blocked all roads leading to his headquarters in Lahore.
The clashes erupted after hunderds of baton wielding PAT workers tried to remove shipping containers used to block the roads to his base in the upscale Model Town area.
Police fired tear gas and baton charged the crowd after one of the containers was removed.
The protesters also pelted stones at the police which injured at least three officials, said Rana Mashhud Ahmad, law minister for Punjab province.
Qadri on Thursday threatened to march on the Pakistani capital and overthrow the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
A statement released by his Pakistan awami Tehreek (PAT) movement quoted him as saying the group would have “no choice other than giving a final call of revolution to the entire nation to come out on streets and march towards Islamabad and provincial capitals to topple (the) government,” should the arrests of his followers continue.
He alleged that more than 500 followers were arrested by police in a campaign of intimidation.
Qadri, who is normally Canada-based, returned to Pakistan in June to lead what he terms a “peaceful revolution”.
Clashes between Qadri supporters and police in June left 14 activists dead in a rare example of political violence in the relatively peaceful Punjab province.
The cleric had previously announced a mass prayer session for the victims of June’s violence to be held on August 10 in Lahore but it is unclear whether he plans to march on the capital the same day.
A religious moderate, Qadri commands tens of thousands of followers and held a disruptive four-day sit-in protest against the government in 2013, months ahead of the election that saw Sharif come to power for the third time.