More than 1000 lovers of Imran Khan arrested

Former Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan made a court appearance following his arrest on corruption charges, which led to widespread protests throughout the country. The authorities reported that approximately 1,000 individuals have been detained since Khan’s arrest in Islamabad, despite his denial of the charges.

Khan is being held under tight security at a police guesthouse that has been converted into a makeshift courtroom. His arrest has escalated a political feud between him and Pakistan’s influential military, and a conviction would result in his disqualification from running in future elections.

Violent demonstrations erupted in various cities across Pakistan in response to Khan’s arrest, resulting in at least two fatalities. The former cricket star, aged 70, was ousted from office in April, less than four years into his term. He had previously been shot in the leg during a campaign event in the city of Wazirabad and had accused a senior intelligence official of orchestrating the attack, a claim strongly refuted by the military. Prior to his arrest, the military had warned Khan against repeating such allegations.

Khan now faces numerous charges related to corruption and sedition, which he believes to be politically motivated. Until now, he had managed to evade arrest by repeatedly refusing to attend court hearings. His supporters argue that the charges were levied by the current government to prevent him from participating in the upcoming general elections scheduled for October, as Khan had been actively campaigning for an earlier election date.

Police have conducted raids and apprehended members of Khan’s political party since his detention. Asad Umar, the secretary-general of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, was among those arrested. In Punjab province alone, nearly 1,000 individuals were detained following protests on Tuesday night.

Pictures from Wednesday morning depicted lines of officers guarding the police guesthouse in Islamabad. PTI stated that Khan had not been granted access to legal counsel and announced their intention to challenge the legality of his arrest in court. They further claimed that the arrest, carried out by the Punjab Rangers within the court premises, was unlawful. However, Islamabad’s High Court declared the arrest to be legal on Tuesday.

Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, witnessed extensive damage to vehicles as a result of overnight protests, while mobile internet services remained inaccessible nationwide due to orders from the interior ministry. Schools remained closed, highways were blocked, and traffic in major cities was sparse.

Protests are expected to continue, with demonstrators planning to march to Islamabad, and the PTI calling for a nationwide strike. The party posted on Twitter, stating that the crowds would be even larger than the previous night to protect Imran Khan.

During the protests on Tuesday, Khan’s supporters ransacked the residence of the corps commander in Lahore, claiming that items, including peacocks, had been purchased with public funds.

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