ISLAMABAD: Massive protests were staged across major cities of Pakistan against the ouster of former Prime Minister Imran Khan through a vote of no-confidence called by the country’s opposition.
The protests on Sunday night took place from about 9.30 p.m. in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Malakand, Multan, Khanewal, Khyber, Jhang, Quetta, Okara, Abbottabad , Bajaur, Lower Dir, Shangla, Kohistan, Mansehra, Swat, Gujrat, Faisalabad, Nowshera, Dera Ghazi Khan and Mandi Bahauddin, reports Dawn news.
Taking to Twitter late Sunday night, Khan thanked the thousands of protesters who came out in his support.
“Thank you to all Pakistanis for their amazing outpouring of support & emotions to protest against US-backed regime change abetted by local Mir Jafars to bring into power a coterie of pliable crooks all out on bail. Shows Pakistanis at home & abroad have emphatically rejected this,” he said.
On Sunday evening before the protests were staged, the former premier had tweeted: “Pakistan became an independent state in 1947; but the freedom struggle begins again today against a foreign conspiracy of regime change. It is always the people of the country who defend their sovereignty & democracy.”
In capital Islamabad, the protest started from the city’s Zero Point, leading to traffic snarl at the Srinagar Highway, reports Dawn news.
Meanwhile, a large number of Khan’s supporters, including women and children, turned up at the Peshawar Press Club and chanted slogans against the opposition.
In Lahore, a rally moved towards the city’s Liberty Chowk, with people sloganeering against the US. The protest in Karachi was held on the Rashid Minhas Road where a large number of supporters were in attendance.
Besides Pakistan, protests were also staged in Dubai and London’s Hyde Park. Khan has become the first Prime Minister in the history of Pakistan to be ousted through a no-confidence vote after 174 members in the 342-strong National Assembly on Sunday voted in favour of removing him from the post.