South Asia

Party calls for peaceful nationwide protests after Khan’s arrest

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party of former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan on Tuesday called for nationwide protests, hours after Pakistan’s anti-corruption agency arrested Khan at Islamabad High Court.

“Today, Imran Khan was arrested from the premises of the Islamabad High Court, which the entire nation has condemned, and which I also condemn. This arrest is illegal, against political norms and inhuman, and it has been carried out under a special plan. Its roots can be traced back to London,” party stalwart Shah Mehmood Qureshi told reporters.

He called upon all workers to come out of their homes, and protest peacefully.

“I appeal to you, wherever you are, to come out of your homes with your children, your daughters, your fathers. We are peaceful people. We should not have sticks in our hands. We have never held arms in our hands, nor will we ever do so. We are not to attack anyone, or harm anyone. We are not to occupy anyone’s house. We have to ask for our rights peacefully. We have to record our protest in peace.”

According to Reuteres report, hundreds of Khan supporters blocked streets in cities and major highways across the country, including in Khan’s hometown of Lahore and in northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province where police went on high alert and banned public gatherings.

Protesters also blocked major roads in the port city of Karachi and police fired tear gas at protesters in the capital Islamabad, Reuters reported, quoting witnesses.

Khan’s arrest comes a day after the powerful military rebuked him for repeatedly accusing a senior military officer of trying to engineer his assassination and the former armed forces chief of being behind his removal from power last year.