Chaos ensues as Imran Khan arrested from Islamabad High Court

KARACHI: What began as an ordinary Tuesday afternoon ended up going down as one of the most chaotic days in Pakistan’s recent political history. After months of political tension, Imran Khan was arrested by paramilitary forces in Islamabad’s High Court. It did not take long for people to take to the streets to protest against what they begun to call a fascist regime. Protests, bans, cancelled exams, here is all that went down since Imran Khan was arrested on May 9.

Imran Khan was arrested in the Al-Qadir Trust case, in which he and his wife Bushra Bibi had been accused of illegally purchasing land from a business tycoon. As per Dawn, the two were facing a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) inquiry for allegedly, “accepting Rs. 5 billion and hundreds of kanals (of land) from Bahria Town [an Islamabad-based real estate company] in exchange for protecting the firm in a money laundering case.” At the time of his arrest, Khan had been submitting his biometric data for a court appearance when the paramilitary forces broke down windows to get to him before apprehending him. The PTI leader was not fazed as chaos ensued outside and instead, sat impassively with sunglasses on. Horrific scenes of the leader being dragged away by a gross amount of armed men flooded the internet soon after.

It did not take long for PTI supporters to begin their protests across all major cities of Pakistan. Some protests were physical, with large crowds gathering around all the important areas of the city. In Karachi, Shahra-e-Faisal, a major traffic route of the city, was cordoned off as protesters took to the streets. In Rawalpindi, the GHQ of the army was attacked by protestors while in Lahore, the Core Commander’s residence was stormed, trashed and looted by protestors.

However, the protests were far from peaceful. Reports claim that one protestor was shot dead in Quetta and in another video from Lahore, a female protestor is seen being dragged away by her hair. Tear gas and warning shots were also being used to dispel the protestors.

With Imran Khan being arrested came more hurdles. Internet services were cut down by the evening of May 9th and remain slow the next day while mobile broadband services were also shut down across the country. Similarly, Twitter has been blocked across Pakistan. Facebook and YouTube are also reportedly not working for many.

Even more shocking still was the decision by the British Council to postpone all O and A Level exams that were to be held on the 10th of May, something that is practically unheard of.

Nearly 24 hours later, the political situation in Pakistan remains tense and one can only hope for the best for the nation.

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