Pakistan police ban gatherings ahead of Imran Khan’s court appearance

PHOTO: Imran Khan (Facebook)

An emergency order banning public gatherings was imposed in Islamabad as supporters of Imran Khan, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, anticipated a march to the capital yesterday. The march was planned to coincide with Khan’s appearance at a court hearing. Earlier this week, his arrest had led to deadly unrest in the nation but was later declared “invalid and unlawful” by the Supreme Court.

Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), announced that thousands of “peaceful Pakistanis” from across the nation would assemble in Islamabad to show solidarity with their leader. The 70 year old, a former international cricket star turned politician, was scheduled to appear at the Islamabad High Court at 11am for a hearing concerning his petition against anti-corruption actions, as ordered by the top court.

Khan’s arrest spiked instability in the nation of 220 million people during a period of significant economic crisis, characterised by record inflation, weak growth, and delayed International Monetary Fund (IMF) funding. It also amplified Khan’s feud with the Pakistan military. Close to 2,000 individuals were arrested, and at least eight killed, as Khan’s supporters clashed with the police, attacked military establishments, and set state-owned buildings and assets on fire, prompting the government to call in the military to restore order.

The army warned supporters of Khan that it would respond firmly to any further attacks on its assets. In a statement issued on Wednesday, it claimed that the violence against its installations had been “pre-planned” and had been instructed by the leadership of Khan’s party.

Khan, whom opponents claim assumed power through a rigged election in 2018 with the support of the military, accused the latter of orchestrating his removal from office in April 2022 via a parliamentary no-confidence vote. The Pakistani army, which has ruled the nation directly for almost half of its 75-year history, through three separate coups, has denied these allegations, reports Channel News Asia.


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Sara is a journalist and content writer who specializes in lifestyle, wellness, and travel topics. Sara's journey in journalism began as a copywriter, and over time, her portfolio expanded to include articles and features for some of the nation's top lifestyle publications. Outside the office, she enjoys practising yoga and exploring hidden locations in Bangkok.