Imran Khan, a former Pakistani prime minister, demands widespread protests


Lahore — Imran Khan, a former prime minister of Pakistan, issued a call for widespread “freedom” demonstrations on Sunday after his brief imprisonment and incarceration last week caused fatal turmoil.

The former cricketing icon, who has been embroiled in numerous legal proceedings since being removed from office in April of last year, was released on bail on Friday after the Supreme Court ruled that his imprisonment was illegal.

Furious with the arrest, Khan’s supporters destroyed military equipment, stopped roads, and set fire to government facilities, which they claimed was the cause of Khan’s demise.

“Freedom does not arrive without struggle. You must seize it. In a speech that was posted on YouTube Saturday night, he remarked, “You have to make sacrifices for it.

He urged his supporters to hold demonstrations “at the end of your streets and villages” throughout the nation on Sunday and declared he would resume his pitch for quick elections on Wednesday.

The leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party has been fighting the military in a defiant manner for months.

He was reprimanded for saying high authorities were involved in an assassination attempt against him the previous year just hours before his arrest on Tuesday.

For nearly half of Pakistan’s 75-year existence, the country has been directly ruled by its formidable military, which also maintains control over the democratic system.

Our military is now poor because of the army chief’s conduct. Although it was unclear if Khan meant the current head or his predecessor, whom Khan has held accountable for his departure, he stated, “It is because of him, not because of me.

Before his arrest, he claimed to reporters that “one man, the army chief,” was responsible.

Khan, however, distanced himself from the violence during the protests that targeted military sites, denying that party members were responsible, and demanded an impartial probe into the incidents.

The army issued a warning on Saturday against attempts to spread “misperceptions” about the organisation, which it says Khan’s charges are false.

Police and hospitals have reported that at least nine individuals perished during the turmoil last week.

According to authorities, hundreds of police personnel were hurt and more than 4,000 individuals were detained, largely in the provinces of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Since the protests started, at least 10 prominent PTI leaders have been detained, according to one of Khan’s attorneys.

The unstable coalition’s prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif, issued a warning on Saturday requesting that anyone “facilitating, abetting, and perpetrating” the violence be apprehended within 72 hours.

During a visit to Lahore, he declared, “Those who displayed anti-state behaviour will be arrested and tried in anti-terrorist courts.”

Rana Sanaullah, the interior minister, has frequently threatened that police will detain Khan again before the upcoming elections in October. Khan is still incredibly popular.

According to the Islamabad High Court, Khan should be protected from arrest until Monday.

Khan was elected in 2018 by an electorate weary of decades of dynastic politics thanks to his anti-corruption campaign.

According to unaffiliated observers, the military helped bring him to power before he had a falling out with the generals.

Everyone is aware of who it is. Outside the home of the party president, Mohsin Khan, a 21-year-old PTI fan, told AFP that the military was responsible for Khan’s arrest.

The pushcart vendor went on to say that he wants politicians and the military “to work together.”

Khan has been trying to topple the coalition administration for months by dissolving two province parliaments that he controlled and calling for early elections.

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