Celebrities are rallying behind former prime minister Imran Khan after a night of violence and protests across the country as attempts continue to arrest the PTI leader in the Toshakhana case. The police and Rangers are continuing their attempts to arrest him for a second consecutive day.
Imran had given a call to PTI workers and supporters to gather around his Zaman Park residence in Lahore to foil the police’s attempts to arrest him. Among his supporters are many Pakistani celebrities, who took to social media to express their outrage at the situation.
Actor Adnan Siddiqui shared his awe at the “outpouring of support” for Imran, calling it “unprecedented” in Pakistan.
Actor Atiqa Odho, who is married to a former PTI MPA, wrote on Instagram that she is “praying that Allah protects Imran Khan and helps him succeed in his efforts for Pakistan”. She said no one deserves to be treated the way he’s being treated for just trying to “break [the] shackles of misery for our nation”.
“He may not be perfect and has many faults but his heart has always been in the right place for which we must support him through his ordeals. Others talk while he walks the talk. Being harassed and punished for being sincere is an injustice we must never accept as citizens of this great country,” she added.
Actor Maya Ali and YouTuber Shahveer Jafry also expressed their support for Imran and disdain for the situation in the country.
Actor Mariyam Nafees condemned the baton charge and shelling by the Punjab police. “These are your people. These are tax payers. You work for them,” she wrote on Instagram.
Actor and doctor Fahad Mirza called out police brutality.
Actor and singer Farhan Saeed also spoke up about the situation.
He wrote, in another tweet, “whoever is trying to separate the country’s favourite leader and the people should know that this will turn unite the people [against you]. If this is what they want, then that’s a separate issue. However, God has planned something else for our people.”
Zaman Park turned into a battlefield for more than 15 hours during the police’s attempt to arrest Imran. According to the former premier, the law agencies’ real intent was to “abduct and assassinate” him. His party’s supporters and workers have prevented law-enforcing agencies from entering his residence by pelting stones at them. In response, the police also fired tear gas shells at the protesters. So far, 54 policemen have been “seriously injured” according to officials, while 32 officers have been given first aid by Rescue 1122. Several PTI workers have been detained as well.