PTI sees plot to blame party for vandalism in Pakistan

Islamabad, May 10 : The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) alleged that there is a conspiracy afoot to blame it for violence and vandalism on state properties by baton-wielding protesters waving party flags. PTI Secretary-General Asad Umar said that those involved in public vandalism and damage to property during Tuesday's protests had nothing to do with the PTI and that a "planned conspiracy" using criminals' acts like vandalism of state buildings may be used as a pretext to ban the party, The News reported. Umar's comments came as unverified videos circulated across Pakistani social media of PTI workers allegedly storming and vandalising state buildings in Lahore and Rawalpindi, even apparently setting fire to part of one of the buildings. Umar added that it was not possible to "prove that those are PTI supporters who are burning and vandalising." PTI workers had taken to the streets on Tuesday, following the arrest of party chief and former Prime Minister Imran Khan. Protests were held across major cities of the country, including Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Multan, Peshawar, and Mardan, The News reported. In Karachi, PTI protesters managed to block the main thoroughfare -- Shahrah-e-Faisal -- and also damaged property. Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab has claimed that PTI supporters also set a vehicle on fire. In Lahore, PTI protesters blocked various roads, burnt tyres and reportedly led to injuries on police personnel, while in Rawalpindi, PTI workers protested on Murree Road and blocked other roads as well. Earlier, Khan had called on supporters to "shut down Pakistan" over his arrest. /IANS


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