Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's "march to freedom" on Wednesday stoked tensions in Punjab, where the province's government had set up barricades to stop the marchers.
When PTI marchers were removing the obstacles, police fired tear gas and arrested several activists.
Imran's main convoy entered the province a little after 6pm, amid whispers of his imminent arrest, Dawn reports.
The rumours, however, turned out to be unfounded. The same could not be said of the charismatic leader's supporters.
Dawn.com confirmed that PTI leader Jamshed Iqbal Cheema was arrested in Lahore and was moved to an undisclosed location.
Police had earlier tried to arrest another PTI leader, Hammad Azhar in Lahore, but fellow activists managed to help him evade the cops.
Earlier, the country's Supreme Court allowed the PTI to hold its Azadi March protest in the H-9 area of Islamabad and restrained the government from arresting party chairman Imran Khan.
But spreading fear proved to be an option too hard to resist for the current government.
After initially signalling it would allow the march to proceed, its policy significantly hardened after a Monday meeting attended by the prime minister and his elder brother from London.
The PML-N gave Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah carte blanche to 'deal' with the PTI marchers, the Dawn reported.
The minister promptly ordered police parties to 'raid' key PTI leaders' homes in the late hours of Monday and make arrests.
Pakistani police has been firing teargas, baton-charging and detaining supporters of ousted Khan to stop them from reaching the capital Islamabad to demand fresh elections, officials and witnesses said.
Amjad Malik, an interior ministry official, told Reuters no one had been seriously injured in the clashes, which took place mostly in Punjab province.
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah later said police had carried out a total of 4,417 swoops on Khan supporters' homes, offices and on protest rallies and had arrested nearly 1,700 people. Of those, 250 were freed after they submitted affidavits that they had nothing to do with the protest march, he said.
Rise up, now
After reaching Swabi, Imran, with the national flag in hand, told a crowd, "we are going to D-Chowk and no one can stop us" as the crowd cheered.
He said the incumbent government was a "group of thieves", terming them the most corrupt people in the country who were afraid of the masses.
Imran said that the PTI government did not bar any of them from staging protests as it "did not fear the people", Dawn reported.
Imran maintained that staging a protest was the party's right, adding that he would unite the country and make it a nation.
"This nation does not accept this imported government," he declared, alluding to previous allegations that the government had the support of The US, which he also claims provoked the no-confidence motion against Khan.
Khan then called the people to come out for what he described a "jihad" for "true freedom".
"All Pakistanis, women, children, families, youth, lawyers, retired army officers, everyone has to come out for real independence," he said.
Meanwhile, government spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb and Imran rubbished news reports of a deal among the two parties.
An economy under strain
Political and economic volatility has deepened in the nuclear-armed South Asian nation ahead of a likely announcement by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) later in the day on whether it will resume a $6 billion rescue package.
With foreign reserves falling to $10.3 billion - lower than two months of imports - a fast-crashing rupee and double-digit inflation, Pakistan's political turmoil has compounded its social and economic discontent, Reuters reported.
The Pakistani rupee hit a new all-time low on Wednesday, reaching Rs202 against the US dollar for the first time in the inter-bank market, The Express Tribune reported.
The country's capital markets were also impacted by the long March.
The Rupee slumped Rs1.08 to a historic low of Rs202.49 against the greenback just before noon, cumulatively losing over Rs16 against greenback in the past 14 working days.
The Pakistan Stock Exchange sank 1.22% (or 513 points) to a one-year low, at 41,438 points at noon as well.
According to experts, political uncertainty was indicative of economic turmoil in Pakistan.
Bloomberg also reported that the threat of default was fast approaching Pakistan as the political crisis continued to deepen.