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Pakistan: Imran Khan supporters prevent police from arresting him

Press TV – August 22, 2022

Supporters of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan gathered around his home on Monday to prevent police from arresting their leader, who has been charged under anti-terror laws.

Hundreds of supporters of the cricketer-turned-politician assembled outside his hilltop mansion in the capital city of Islamabad on Monday, vowing to “take over” if he was arrested.

However, Khan has now been granted pre-arrest bail until Thursday.

Since being ousted from power in April in what he and his supporters have repeatedly blamed on a “US regime change plot”, Khan has been a vocal critic of the government and the powerful military.

On Sunday Islamabad police issued an arrest warrant against Khan for allegedly threatening police officials and a judicial magistrate under sections of the anti-terrorism act.

The cricketer-turned-politician reportedly accused authorities of torturing his close aide, who is himself being detained under sedition charges.

Khan’s political allies warned on Monday that arresting him would amount to crossing a “red line”.

“If Imran Khan is arrested … we will take over Islamabad with people’s power,” a former minister in his cabinet, Ali Amin Gandapur, threatened on Twitter, as some party leaders urged supporters to prepare for mass mobilization.

Khan said in his speech on Sunday that he was being censured for not condoning the ruling coalition government which had voted him out of power.

He has also said that he “would not spare” Islamabad’s police chief and a judge for issuing a warrant, arresting and torturing one of his close aides on sedition charges.

Khan’s aide had called on lower and middle ranks of the military to defy orders from the top brass.

Last month, Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party won the by-elections in the country’s most populous province, Punjab, dealing a heavy blow to the government led by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) incumbent Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on his home turf.

PTI’s thumping win in Punjab is seen as a popularity test for Khan, whose government was dismissed by a no-confidence vote in April.

The use of anti-terrorism laws for leveling court cases against political leaders is common in Pakistan. Pakistani law experts claim that expressing public threats against officials put their lives at stake, and actually amounted to threatening the state, so that the anti-terrorism charges apply.

Khan’s aide, Fawad Chaudhry, told reporters outside an Islamabad court that the party had applied for bail for its leader ahead of his arrest.

August 22, 2022 - Posted by | Civil Liberties |

1 Comment »

  1. When Imran Khan “threw his hat in the ring” for political power several years ago, my immediate reaction was, “This could end very badly for him”, given the record of previous political leaders in Pakistan. Several of them have been imprisoned, or murdered in the past.
    One thing is for sure, Imran Khan is a national sporting hero in Pakistan, and famous around the World, and I do pray he will survive “in one piece”.

    Like

    Comment by brianharryaustralia | August 22, 2022 | Reply


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