RAWALPINDI/LAHORE - Thousands of protesters rallied across Pakistan on Thursday, setting cars ablaze and torching images of PPP leaders after Supreme Court barred Sharif brothers from office. Mobs clashed with police and closed the main highway in Islamabad, in the biggest protests against the government since it took office. Police fired tear-gas as nearly 1,000 people tried to block the highway between Islamabad and Rawalpindi. The protesters clashed with police, shouted slogans against the government and torched several cars and a police van, after the government put paramilitaries on alert and police detained 30 Punjab MPAs. In Lahore, thousands of people stormed the barricades for a sit-in outside the Governor House, punching their fists in the air, witnesses said. A crowd of over 5,000 protesters beat pictures of PPP leaders with sticks, then set them ablaze. Hundreds rallied in Faisalabad, Rawalpindi and Muzaffarabad. Protests were also held in Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta and other districts. In Islamabad, the leaders and workers of PML-N and members of civil society continued holding protest demonstrations and rallies even on second day of Supreme Court verdict against Sharif brothers while traders community observed complete shutter down strike across the city on Thursday. Police officials informed The Nation that fearing the mounting heat of demonstrations, the authorities had called four companies of Rangers and five Platoons of Punjab Constabulary (PC) to avoid any crunch moment. In this regard, the whole city has been divided into various zones while Superintendents of Police (SPs) have been deputed to supervise the situation and maintain law and order in the city. The enraged protesters pelted stones at Lal Haveli, the residence of Awami Muslim League President Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed and on the office of Rescue 1122 at Chandni Chowk damaging several vehicles. The protesters also blocked city's main roads by burning tyres and spreading stones and erecting other barricades. Almost all the private educational institutions remained closed while thin attendance was reported in government institutions. PML-N activists, holding party flags and portraits of Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif including MNAs Hanif Abbasi, Haji Pervaiz Khan, Senator Najma Hameed brought out a protest rally from Muslim League House, Iqbal Road that, subsequently, turned into a big procession. They staged a sit-in at Committee Chowk and blocked Murree Road for all types of traffic. A brawl also occurred between PML-N workers and guards of Sheikh Rashid's Lal Haveli when the protesters pelted stones at them. The guards resorted to aerial firing in retaliation. However, law-enforcers reached the scene and controlled the situation. Protesters also pelted stones at GC Hotel and broke its windowpanes. Protesters also attacked the Rescue 1122 office at Chandni Chowk and damaged two Fire Brigade vehicles and one ambulance by pelting stones and smacking rods. Addressing the protesters, PML-N leaders said that the protests would continue till the nullifying of SC order and restoration of deposed Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. They said that PML-N was a peace-loving party and would avoid damaging public property. They said that SC verdict had harmed democratic set-up in the country. They termed the Governor Rule as a slap on the face of a democratically-elected Punjab Government. The furious protestors chanted full-throated slogans against PPP led government, PCO judges and Governor Rule in the Province. Meanwhile, PML-N MNA Malik Abrar Ahmed took to the road with hundreds of protesters and blocked Peshawar Road for long by burning tyres and dispersing stones at Chur Chowk. The protesters including MYO Punjab Vice-President Raja Saqlain and divisional president Muhammad Zulfiqar Bhatti, holding party flags and posters of their beloved leaders, chanted slogans against PPP leadership and in favour of Mian Nawaz Sharif and Mian Shahbaz Sharif. Police, led by DSP Cantt Raja Hafiz and SHO Sardar Baber, rushed to the scene and tried to remove the burning tyres, however, PML-N irate protesters pushed them back.