An Islamabad-bound flight carrying Canada-based preacher Tahir-ul-Qadri, who has vowed to lead a “revolution” against the Pakistan government, was on Monday diverted to Lahore for security reasons as clashes erupted between his supporters and police.
Mr. Qadri refused to come out of the plane in Lahore, demanding that the aircraft should be taken to its original destination, Islamabad.
Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid said that the Emirates flight was taken to Lahore as hundreds of Mr. Qadri’s supports were present on the roads in Islamabad and there was real risk to his life.
Around 40 of Mr. Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) supporters sustained injuries in a clash with the police near the Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad, as they gathered to receive their leader.
Police fired tear gas shells to disperse Mr. Qadri’s supporters, who had gathered at the blockades on Expressway, the main artery that leads to the airport near Koral Chowk, on Monday morning.
Mr. Qadri said he only trusts the Army and asked that an officer of at least the rank of a lieutenant-general or corps commander should come and take responsibility of his security.