Protests erupted across Pakistan on Tuesday after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan was arrested as he appeared before the Islamabad High Court for several cases pending since he was ousted last year, a private TV channel reported. Police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse Khan’s supporters in Karachi, Lahore, and Faisalabad, while protesters blocked roads in the capital Islamabad, Peshawar, and other cities. The workers also damaged public property and set police vehicles on fire in Charsadda, Karachi, Lahore, and several other cities after the party called on supporters to “shut down Pakistan” over his arrest. PTI wrote on Twitter: “It’s your time, people of Pakistan. Khan has always stood for you, now its time to stand for him.” Previous attempts to arrest Khan from his Lahore home resulted in heavy clashes between his supporters and law enforcement personnel. “Imran Khan is our red line. Even a scratch on him is not acceptable,” Hanif Khan, 42, a grocery store owner told AFP. “We will sacrifice our lives, but we will free Imran Khan.” Khan faces dozens of charges since being ousted – tactic analysts say successive Pakistan governments have used to silence their opponents. He could be barred from holding public office if convicted, which would exclude him from elections scheduled for later this year. PTI Senator Faisal Javed has distanced the party from instances of vandalism and setting public property alight during protests in the wake of former prime minister Imran Khan’s arrest earlier today. Javed said “miscreants” unrelated to the PTI were planted and were actually the cause for the instances of setting things on fire. He said the party leadership had issued clear instructions to workers to remain peaceful.