Home News Imran Khan seems in courtroom as Pakistan braces for violence

Imran Khan seems in courtroom as Pakistan braces for violence

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ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan appeared in courtroom Wednesday, a day after he was dragged from one other courtroom and arrested in Islamabad, and his supporters clashed with police throughout the nation. A choose was requested to approve protecting the 70-year-old opposition chief in custody for as much as 14 days.

Khan, who misplaced energy final yr however stays the nation’s hottest opposition determine, is the seventh former prime minister to be arrested in Pakistan. His arrest deepened political turmoil and sparked violent demonstrations on Tuesday.

No less than two individuals have been killed within the in a single day violence, one within the southwestern metropolis of Quetta and the opposite in northwestern Pakistan, and dozens have been wounded in numerous elements of the nation.

In japanese Punjab province, the place authorities stated 157 law enforcement officials have been injured in clashes with Khan supporters, the native authorities requested the military to step in and restore order.

Pakistan’s GEO tv broadcast footage exhibiting Khan showing earlier than a choose at a brief courtroom inside a police compound Wednesday. The previous premier was seen seated in a chair, holding paperwork. He appeared calm however drained.

The choose is anticipated to rule on the request for a 14-day detention later within the day. In the meantime, Khan’s authorized staff challenged his arrest earlier than the Islamabad Excessive Courtroom, in search of his launch.

Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf get together had known as for demonstrators to stay peaceable, hours after mobs angered over the dramatic arrest set fireplace to the residence of a high military normal within the japanese metropolis of Lahore.

When he was arrested on Tuesday, Khan was showing in courtroom on a number of graft fees introduced by Islamabad police. As he confirmed up in courtroom, dozens of brokers from the Nationwide Accountability Bureau backed by paramilitary troops stormed the courtroom, breaking home windows after Khan’s guards refused to open the door.

Khan’s supporters attacked the army’s headquarters within the garrison metropolis of Rawalpindi close to the capital, Islamabad, however didn’t attain the principle constructing housing the places of work of military chief Gen. Asim Munir.

Different demonstrators tried to succeed in the prime minister’s residence in Lahore, however have been pushed off by baton-wielding in police. Others attacked automobiles carrying troops and hit armed troopers with sticks. To this point, police and troopers haven’t fired at protesters.

The army has not commented on the assaults on its services. Not one of the leaders from Khan’s get together denounced the assaults on the army.

A police assertion Wednesday stated officers in japanese Punjab province arrested 945 Khan supporters since Tuesday — together with Asad Umar, a senior chief from Khan’s get together. Dozens of Khan supporters have been additionally detained in Islamabad, Karachi, Peshawar and elsewhere.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi, senior vp from Khan’s get together, appealed for peaceable demonstrations Wednesday, urging followers: “Don’t injury public property, don’t assault places of work, as we’re peace lovers.” He stated the get together is contemplating difficult Khan’s arrest within the Supreme Courtroom.

By morning, police stated some 2,000 protesters nonetheless surrounded the fire-damaged residence in Lahore of Lt. Gen. Salman Fayyaz Ghani, a high regional commander. They chanted slogans on the army, together with “Khan is our crimson line and you’ve got crossed it.” Ghani and his members of the family have been moved to a safer place when the mob on Tuesday first attacked their sprawling home.

Police deployed in pressure throughout the nation, and positioned transport containers on a street resulting in the sprawling police compound in Islamabad the place Khan is being held and the place he appeared earlier than a choose on the short-term courtroom positioned there for safety causes, based on the federal government.

Amid violence, Pakistan’s telecommunication authority on Tuesday blocked social media, together with Twitter. The federal government additionally suspended web service in Islamabad and different cities. Lessons at some non-public faculties have been canceled for Wednesday.

Rights group Amnesty Worldwide stated it was alarmed by studies of Pakistani authorities blocking entry to cellular web networks and social media — Twitter, Fb, and YouTube are suspended for a second day. Amnesty urged authorities to indicate restraint, saying clashes between legislation enforcement and Khan’s supporters threat human rights violations.

The Nationwide Accountability Bureau has detained and investigated former officers, together with former prime ministers, politicians and retired army officers. However some view the NAB as a instrument utilized by these in energy, particularly the army, to crack down on political opponents.

When Khan was in energy, his authorities arrested Shahbaz Sharif, then the opposition chief, by means of the NAB. Sharif was dealing with a number of corruption instances when he managed to oust Khan in a 2022 no-confidence vote. The costs have been later dropped, citing an absence of proof.

Prime Minister Sharif returned to Pakistan on Wednesday from a U.Okay. journey and was to carry a Cupboard assembly on the most recent developments. His brother, Nawaz Sharif, who additionally served as prime minister, was arrested a number of occasions on corruption allegations.

In March, police stormed Khan’s Lahore residence, in search of to arrest him in a corruption case associated to hiding earnings from the sale of official presents. Dozens of individuals, together with police, have been injured in ensuing clashes. Khan was not arrested on the time and later obtained bail.

As violence unfold, diplomats from numerous international locations and customary individuals in Pakistan stayed dwelling. The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad canceled all its Wednesday consular appointments following Khan’s arrest and issued a nationwide alert, telling People to evaluate their private safety plans and keep away from giant crowds.

Related Press writers Riaz Khan in Peshawar and Babar Dogar in Lahore, Pakistan, contributed to this story.

The story has been corrected to indicate that Imran Khan is 70 years outdated, not 71.

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