Pakistan in crisis: unrest after Khan’s arrest

Riots broke out after Pakistan’s ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan was arrested on corruption charges. This is likely to exacerbate the economic crisis.

Tear gas protesters on a street

Supporters of ex-president Khan protested in Lahore and other cities in Pakistan on Tuesday Photo: KM Chaudary/ap

MUMBAI taz | Once again, Imran Khan is in the spotlight. Pictures of the 70-year-old ex-Pakistan prime minister went viral as he was surrounded by paramilitaries and loaded into an armored car on Tuesday. He had appeared at a court hearing in the capital, Islamabad, and was spectacularly arrested there. Since then there have been nationwide protests and unrest in the already unstable country.

On the day of his arrest, protesters set fire to police vehicles and threw stones while police used tear gas, local media reported. In Lahore, the country’s third largest city, Khan supporters stormed the official residence of an army commander.

In response, access to mobile internet and social media was interrupted. Nearly 1,000 people were arrested in the eastern province of Punjab alone. At least four people were killed in the protests, according to media reports. Dozens were injured.

Violent clashes between Khan’s supporters and the security forces have been reported time and time again. The leader of Khan’s PTI party in western Balochistan, Munir Baloch, accused the police of shooting at protesters. Khan’s followers accuse the authorities of kidnapping him.

Charges brought against Khan

The former cricket star was charged with bribery by a special court at Islamabad Police Headquarters on Wednesday. He is to remain in detention for eight days, and no verdict has yet been passed. Other senior members of his party were arrested on Wednesday. Khan suspected that they wanted to prevent him from running in elections. They are expected in autumn.

Protests also broke out in Islamabad and Karachi, as well as in the UK, US and Canada, each of which has a larger diaspora. Concerned words also came from hostile India: An unstable Pakistan would be dangerous for all countries, including India, according to Farooq Abdullah, ex-prime minister of the then state of Jammu and Kashmir. The EU stated “that in such difficult and tense times, restraint and prudence are called for”.

Pakistan’s military had warned Khan not to make “baseless allegations” against the powerful institution. According to authorities, Khan was arrested in connection with the transfer of land for a university, but it’s just one of nearly 100 allegations against him that his supporters believe were fabricated.

Khan was ousted by parliament in a vote of no confidence in April 2022. He took office as a reformer in 2018 and is held in high esteem by the public, not least because of his previous career as a cricket star. However, he had lost the trust of the powerful military.

Khan never accepted parliamentary distrust

Khan never accepted his defeat in Parliament, blaming his downfall on a US government conspiracy for which he presented no evidence and which Washington dismissed.

His successor Shehbaz Sharif was still in London when the riots broke out, where he attended the coronation of King Charles III. was. Sharif accused Khan of defaming the army and spreading falsehoods.

Concern about the economic crisis is high among the 230 million inhabitants of Pakistan. Last summer, the country experienced the worst flooding in its history. The rupee has depreciated sharply against the dollar and continues to fall. There is now a risk of default as the unrest is likely to delay loans from the International Monetary Fund.

#Pakistan #crisis #unrest #Khans #arrest
More From Shayari.Page

Leave a Comment