Imran Khan’s court appearance fuels violence 

Imran Khan, the former prime minister of Pakistan, made an appearance in court on Wednesday.

(Photo credit: Newstimes)

Imran Khan made an appearance in court

Imran Khan, the former prime minister of Pakistan, made an appearance in court on Wednesday. A day earlier, he had been pulled from another court and taken into custody in Islamabad. The 70-year-old opposition leader was requested to be held in detention for a maximum of 14 days.

Khan, who was ousted from office last year but is still the most well-liked opposition leader in the nation, is Pakistan’s eighth former prime minister to be detained. His detention exacerbated the political unrest and triggered bloody protests on Tuesday.

Violence Erupts

At least two people were murdered in the overnight violence, one in the southern city of Quetta and one in northern Pakistan, while many were injured across the country. The local administration in eastern Punjab province, where officials reported 157 police officers were hurt in skirmishes with Khan supporters, ordered the army to intervene and restore peace.

Khan appeared before a judge in a makeshift court inside a police enclosure, according to a video shown by Pakistan’s GEO television. The former premier was shown carrying papers while sitting on a chair. He seemed relaxed yet worn out.

Later in the day, the court is anticipated to decide on the demand for 14-day detention. In the meantime, Khan’s legal team requested his release by contesting his detention before the Islamabad High Court. After a senior army general’s home in the eastern city of Lahore was set on fire by rioters enraged over the spectacular arrest, Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party appealed to protesters to show restraint.

Khan was defending himself in court on many graft accusations presented by the Islamabad police when he was detained on Tuesday. In response to Khan’s guards’ refusal to unlock the door, scores of agents from the National Accountability Bureau and paramilitary soldiers assaulted the courthouse as he arrived, destroying glass.

Followers Stormed Military Command Centre

(Photo credit: Zee News)

Khan’s followers stormed the military’s command center in Rawalpindi, a garrison city close to Islamabad, but they were unable to enter the main structure containing Gen. Asim Munir’s offices. Other protesters attempted to march to the prime minister’s mansion in Lahore but were repelled by police officers brandishing batons. Some people stormed military trucks and beat armed soldiers with sticks. Police and military have not fired a shot at demonstrators thus far.

Regarding the attacks on its installations, the military has made no comments. None of Khan’s party’s officials condemned the assaults on the military.

According to a police statement released on Wednesday, since Tuesday, authorities in the eastern Punjab province have detained 945 followers of Khan, including Asad Umar, a prominent member of Khan’s party. In addition, dozens of Khan followers were detained in Peshawar, Karachi, and other locations.

READ ALSO: Russian Forces Unleash Indiscriminate Attacks Amid Ukraine Pressure

Shah Mahmood Qureshi called for Peaceful Protest

(Photo credit: India Today)

Senior Vice President of Imran Khan’s party, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, has called for peaceful protests following the former Prime Minister’s recent court appearance. Qureshi has urged party members to refrain from damaging public property and attacking offices. He also mentioned that the party is considering challenging Khan’s arrest in the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the aftermath of Khan’s arrest has resulted in violent demonstrations in Lahore, where around 2,000 protesters have surrounded the fire-damaged residence of Lt. Gen. Salman Fayyaz Ghani, a top regional commander. The mob has been chanting slogans at the military, including “Khan is our red line, and you have crossed it.” Ghani and his family members have been moved to a safer place after their house was attacked by the mob on Tuesday.

Khan is being kept in a huge police facility in Islamabad where, according to the government, shipping containers have been erected on a road leading there as well as a makeshift court that has been set up there for security reasons. There, Khan appeared before a judge.

On Tuesday, Twitter was disabled by Pakistan’s telecom authorities due to the ongoing violence. Additionally, the authorities turned off the internet in Islamabad and other locations. Some private schools canceled classes on Wednesday.

Amnesty International Expressed Concerns

Amnesty International calls on Pakistan Telecommunity Authority to restore internet services

Amnesty International, expressed worry over claims that Pakistani authorities have cut off access to social media sites including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, as well as mobile internet networks. Amnesty pleaded with the authorities to exercise patience, warning that scuffles between the police and Khan’s supporters run the danger of causing human rights crimes.

Former officials, including former prime ministers, legislators, and retired military personnel, have been imprisoned and the subject of investigations by the National Accountability Bureau. However, some believe that the NAB is a weapon used by those in authority, particularly the military, to repress political rivals.

Shahbaz Sharif, the opposition leader at the time when Khan was in power, was detained by his administration using the NAB. When Sharif succeeded in ousting Khan in a no-confidence vote in 2022, he was up against several corruption cases. Later, the accusations were dismissed due to a lack of proof.

Prime Minister Sharif flew back to Pakistan 

On Wednesday, after visiting the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Sharif flew back to Pakistan and was scheduled to address the Cabinet on recent events. His brother, Nawaz Sharif, who was also prime minister, was detained several times on suspicion of corruption.

In March, police barged into Khan’s Lahore home to apprehend him in a corruption case involving the concealment of money from the sale of government goods. In the subsequent altercations, several individuals, including police, were hurt. Khan later received bail and was later not detained.

Foreign officials and regular Pakistanis stayed at home as the violence grew. Following Khan’s arrest, the American embassy in Islamabad canceled all of its Wednesday consular appointments and sent out a national notice advising citizens to check their personal security preparations and stay away from crowded areas.

READ ALSO: Jury Finds Trump Liable, Slaps Him with $5 Million Fine in Jean Carroll Case

1 thought on “Imran Khan’s court appearance fuels violence ”

Leave a Comment