Pakistan: Imran Khan Is In A Standoff With Police Who Have Surrounded His House

Former Prime Minister Imran Khan said Thursday that his prior arrest (and release after mass protests and unrest) is part of a broader government crackdown against his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to keep him out of power and prevent him from contesting the upcoming general election.

“All the political parties and the establishment want me removed from the electoral field in an election year,” he told supporters while pointing out that police starting the day prior surrounded his house and blocked roads.

On Wednesday he had said his arrest was “imminent” – but it appears police have since backed off the “siege” of his house following the threat of clashes with his many supporters that also showed up in the neighbourhood.

Police claimed his house was sheltering fugitives who engaged in violent protests last week in the wake of his controversial arrest on a range of corruption charges. This week Pakistan’s military promised swift justice for those who spread mayhem, vandalism and violence against the army and police.

Sharif’s office followed with a statement: “The meeting endorsed to bring the miscreants, the planners who incited violence and their facilitators to dock by trying them under constitutional provisions of concerned laws, including Pakistan Army Act and Official Secrets Act.”

At least eight people were killed (some sources say more) and many hundreds were wounded in the pro-Khan demonstrations and riots, including some among the army and security services, who were called to restore order in Islamabad. Buildings, including a national radio broadcast centre, were burned to the ground, and army bases were also breached in some cases. But the military is now vowing “no more.”

If Khan is arrested again, and this remains a likely scenario, the country will ignite again – given tensions continue to be at boiling point over Khan’s fate, and anti-government unrest has continued in some locations.


Zero Hedge

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