Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves former Pakistanian Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Pakistan’s former prime minister, Imran Khan, was arrested Tuesday authorities said, raising the stakes of the country’s political crisis and prompting clashes between his supporters and police. Footage showed demonstrations across the country, with reports of tear gas and water cannons being deployed against Khan supporters in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and other cities. Pakistani authorities and government officials said Khan was arrested in a corruption case that has been evolving for months, with the former prime minister accused of money laundering. The former prime minister also faces a number of other charges in separate cases, all of which he has rejected.
Footage distributed by Khan’s party showed the opposition leader being pushed into a law enforcement vehicle. Officials said the arresting officers members of a paramilitary force were operating on a warrant from the country’s anti-corruption watchdog. They denied accusations from Khan’s allies saying the former prime minister was beaten during his arrest. Neither side immediately provided evidence to back their claims.
Members of Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, say they suspect political motives behind the arrest. The government has repeatedly sought to delay key regional votes this year after Khan performed above expectations in by elections last October.
Khan’s arrest comes after mounting public disputes between the former prime minister, who was ousted from office in April 2022, the government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, and the country’s powerful military. Khan had recently accused a senior officer of having been part of an assassination attempt against him in November, which he narrowly survived.
Khan has for months described himself as the victim of a plot, starting with what he says was a Western move to oust him in April 2022. There have been several attempts to arrest him since, including one in March that resulted in fierce clashes and left many injured. As he left his residence in the city of Lahore to attend the scheduled court hearings in Islamabad early Tuesday, he released a video message in which he said that he is “ready to go to jail,” but added that the accusations against him are unsubstantiated. Later, in a response to Khan on Twitter, Sharif, the prime minister, accused his predecessor of “blatant lies, untruths, U-turns, and vicious attacks on institutions” and of bending “the judiciary to your whims and behaving as if rules don’t apply to you.”
Credit: The Washington Post, Al-Jazeera.