Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan Faces Corruption Charges Amidst Violence And Mass Arrests
Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan faces corruption charges amidst violence and mass arrestshas pleaded not guilty to corruption charges a day after his arrest sparked nationwide protests. The case is against Khan saying he unlawfully sold state gifts during his premiership.
Allegations Denied As Former Pakistan Pm Imran Khan Faces Corruption Charges Amidst Violence And Mass Arrests
Khan denies the allegations and says he fulfilled all legal requirements. It was the first of dozens of cases against him in which he has been formally charged. A conviction would disqualify the former cricket star - prime minister from 2018 to 2022 - from standing for office, possibly for life. Elections are due later this year.
However, the arrest of Imran Khan has caused violence and unrest in the country. Eight people have died nationwide in the protests and about 1,000 have been arrested, police say. The army has been deployed in some areas and has issued a stern warning after crowds attacked its properties.
The action by Pakistan's anti-corruption body has led to violent protests across the country. The government has called the army in to maintain order in several regions of the country, including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Balochistan, and Islamabad.
In a televised address to the nation, Pakistan's Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, warned that violent protests would not be tolerated.
The perpetrators who take the law into their own hands will be dealt with with an iron hand- Pakistan's Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif
Extraordinary scenes on Tuesday evening showed Mr. Khan's supporters ransacking the corps commander's residence in Lahore, smashing chandeliers, and making away with peacocks - among other things - which they said were bought with "citizen's money".
The military has warned protesters of an "extreme reaction" if properties of the state were attacked again. Police in Islamabad used shipping containers to try to block routes to the compound where Imran Khan was appearing before a judge. The BBC witnessed clashes between protesters and the police in the middle of one of Islamabad's main motorways.
Moment former Pakistan PM Imran Khan is arrested
Protesters began gathering after midday, some carrying with them PTI flags or wearing Imran Khan face masks. Canisters of tear gas were fired into the crowd soon after they began to gather. The protesters attempted to hit the metal casings away using their sticks.
Mr. Khan was ousted last April, less than four years into his term as prime minister. In November, he was shot in the leg while campaigning among crowds in the city of Wazirabad.
He has accused a senior intelligence official of carrying out the attack - an accusation strongly denied by the military. A day before his arrest, the military had warned Mr. Khan against repeating the allegation.
Many analysts believe Mr. Khan's election win in 2018 happened with the help of the military. But amid a growing economic crisis, observers say he fell out of favor with the powerful military, the crucial behind-the-scenes player in nuclear-armed Pakistan. Since being in opposition, he has become one of the military's most vocal critics.
Dr. Shireen Mazari, the former Minister for Human Rights in Mr. Khan's PTI government, told the BBCthat the way Mr. Khan had been detained amounted to state abduction.
We don't expect even the military to abuse the sanctity of the court in this way," she said, adding that people in Pakistan were "seething with anger" at the way he had been treated, as well as wider economic problems.
The arrest of Imran Khan has caused widespread unrest in the country, with many people protesting against the action taken by the government. It remains to be seen what impact this will have on the upcoming elections and the future of Pakistan.
However, the country's economy is in crisis, and the government is under immense pressure to address the issues facing the country. The arrest of Imran Khan has only added to the turmoil, and it remains to be seen whether the government's actions will calm the situation or further fuel the protests.
In the meantime, Pakistan remains a country facing numerous challenges, including economic woes, political instability, and ongoing security concerns.