-Traffic remained blocked while the area resounded with aerial firing
-Both parties were at loggerheads over rally venue in Karachi
KARACHI: A violent clash erupted between workers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) at Gulshan Iqbal area on late Monday where members of both rival political fronts threw stones at each other and tore banners.
According to inputs, both parties’ workers resorted to violence over a venue dispute for May 12 rallies announced by both the parties in Karachi. The incident was first reported when a number of PPP workers set ablaze a camp of the PTI workers.
The two parties have been at loggerheads after either of them announced holding a public gathering at Hakeem Saeed Ground in Karachi’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal area.
Workers belonging to both parties engaged in aerial firing and pelting stones at one another late Monday evening.
Traffic on the University Road was affected following the clash.
PTI leader Naeemul Haq said the PPP had on purpose requested the deputy commissioner for the same venue.
“If PPP will create tension now, the same is likely in the upcoming elections,” said Haq.
However, PPP leader Shehla Raza said her party had submitted a request for the venue on May 3. She said, “PTI is acting like MQM. We will not let them do such violence.”
“We adopted a legal way to obtain the Hakeem Saeed Ground for our rally,” she said. “If PTI wanted the ground, it should have submitted its request to the authorities in advance.”
Amid an ongoing row over the venue, workers from both the parties had come face to face at Hakeem Saeed Ground earlier today.
The PPP activists had chanted slogans in front of a minibus brought at the venue by the PTI. In response, party songs were played aloud from the PTI’s vehicle.
PTI member Ali Zaidi, meanwhile, had intervened to prevent a clash between supporters of the two parties.
“We were the first to announce a rally on May 12 and the PTI reserves the right to hold a public gathering at Hakeem Saeed Ground,” PTI Karachi chapter leader Firdous Naqvi said.
Naqvi was responded to by PPP’s Saeed Ghani, who had maintained that they were the ones to take permission for holding the rally. “PTI’s attitude is based on ignorance and bullying,” slammed Ghani.
The PTI workers and leaders condemned the incident, and announced to hold a rally outside Bilawal House in Karachi.