Karachi: The roads outside the residence of former President Asif Ali Zardari turned into a battlefield on Sunday when the workers of Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf clashed over a security barrier surrounding the house.
Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI) workers yesterday gathered outside the Zardari`s residence, the Bilawal House, demanding the demolition of the security wall surrounding it.
The 50 feet-high wall was declared illegal by the Sindh High Court in September. The decision was upheld by the Supreme Court in October.
The wall, stretching for over 650 m was erected after Asif Ali Zardari took oath as President in September, 2008 and is blamed for choking the traffic through an arterial road passing by the house.
Local administration tried to pacify them by opening up one side of a blocked road.
Things turned ugly today when PPP workers, determined to protect the wall which they think is necessary to secure their leaders Zardari and his son Bilawal Bhutto, attacked PTI activists with sticks and stones.
Police and paramilitary personnel turned out in heavy numbers to disperse the activists and restore normalcy in the area.
"The PPP brought `Goondas` who beat up our workers and injured them and the police also took their side and arrested our men," PTI leader Arif Alvi said.
PPP Chairperson Bilawal issued a statement alleging that PTI workers brought weapons to the rally outside the house.
"Imran Khan is bent upon doing all those things which is damaging to the country and while every party has a right to peaceful demonstrations, no party, whether it is the PPP or PTI, has right to resort to violence at any cost," Bilawal said.
PPP leaders Qadir Patel and Sharmila Farooqi rubbished Alvi`s claim and said that no one would be allowed to destroy the sanctity of the home of their slain leader, Benazir Bhutto.
"The PTI led by Arif Alvi today acted like goons and tried to use force but our workers will not tolerate this at any cost," Patel said.