Arrest of former prime minister lights up the streets of Pakistan

Islamabad, (BLAZETRENDS).- Paramilitary forces arrested on Tuesday the former prime minister and charismatic Pakistani leader Imran Khan, in a violent operation that immediately sparked the outbreak of protests and violence in the main cities of the country.

The charismatic leader, whose whereabouts are unknown at the moment, was arrested today at the headquarters of a court in the Pakistani capital when he was going to court to request a bail measure for one of the cases filed against him.

The arrest was carried out by fifty men uniformed in black from the Rangers unit, who cornered Khan and his security team and dragged the opposition leader to a vehicle, leaving several injured and a scene of violence.

Arrested for a corruption case

Khan was arrested in a $177 million education fund-related corruption case, known locally as the “Qadir Trust case,” according to Islamabad Police.

The action of the security forces immediately led to the outbreak of violence in several cities of the country, with the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), the largest political force in Pakistan, Khan’s formation, calling on its supporters to go out across the country.

An hour after the arrest, Imran Khan’s Twitter account reposted a video from 2022 where the former prime minister predicts his arrest and calls for people to take to the streets to demand freedom.

Measures to control violence

The government imposed emergency measures in Islamabad and Punjab province, restricting assembly and free movement to contain the protests, while communication and internet outages have been reported in several locations.

Yet the streets of the cities of Lahore and Karachi have been filling with supporters of the former Pakistani cricket star turned politician.

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Dozens of people with rods in hand approached the vicinity of the Pakistan Army headquarters located in the city of Rawalpindi, in Punjab, and beat the entrance doors until they opened them, as seen in several videos shared in Pakistani media.

Assaulted an army headquarters

The last and only time there was an assault on the Pakistani Army headquarters was in 2009 with an attack by the main Pakistani Taliban group, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Khan’s supporters also entered the official residences of military officers in the cities of Lahore and Peshawar with sticks, destroying windows, doors and buildings that were found in their path, according to videos shared in local media.

Motion of no confidence 2022

Khan lost power in an April 2022 vote of no confidence promoted by an alliance of his rivals, held over a weekend towards the end of the night.

The opposition leader first attributed his expulsion to a move by the United States to punish him for his closeness to Russia, although he later claimed that it was the former head of Pakistan’s powerful army Qamar Bajwa who conspired with the opposition to evict him.

Khan has spent much of the past year facing various court cases, reporting alleged arrest attempts, his possible murder in police custody, and recovering from a bombing that left him injured in both legs last November.

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