Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan He was placed in provisional detention for a corruption casethe day after his unexpected arrest, which sparked violent protests across the country.
“The court approved the provisional detention of Imran Khan for eight days,” he told the news agency. AFP Ali Bukhari, a lawyer for Khan, after the closed-door hearing.
Violent clashes broke out between supporters of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI, Pakistani Justice Party) and security forces, following the announcement on Tuesday of the former ruler’s arrest in a corruption case.
At least six people died in the incidents.Police and medical sources reported Wednesday.
The government gave the green light to the deployment of soldiers in three provinces, including the capital, Islamabad, and Punjab, the most populous, where some 1,000 protesters have been detained and 130 policemen have been injured since the start of the riots.
The protesters burned down the residence of the military command in Lahore (east) and blocked access to the army headquarters in Rawalpindi, near Islamabad.
The army threatened to launch a “strong reaction” to those who attack military and state installations.
The Islamabad Police have confirmed that “the Army has been called to the city” and has advanced that numerous troops were already “arriving at different places” in the Pakistani capital.
“All those who are spreading incitement are asked to stop. Women and children are requested not to travel unnecessarily,” said the capital’s security forces on their official profile on the social network Twitter.
Since the outbreak of the protests on Tuesday, the Western powers have called for calm.
The UN Secretary General, Anthony Guterresurged the authorities on Wednesday to “respect” procedures and the rule of law in the case of the former ruler, and called on “all parties to refrain from violence.”
In Washington, the heads of diplomacy of the United States, Anthony Blinken, and of the United Kingdom, James Cleverly, called for respect for “the rule of law” in the country.
Khan’s arrest came after months of political turmoil and after the former cricket star accused the military – which wields great power in the country – of being involved in a plot to assassinate him.
According to Sher Afzal Marwata lawyer for the PTI party, Khan is “in a good mood” but the paramilitary forces who arrested him hit him on the back of the head and on the leg.
Imran Khan’s arrest “was done in accordance with the law,” Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said.
The arrest was carried out by the main body in the fight against corruption, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), “an independent body that is not controlled by the government,” said the minister.
In Peshawar, a mob destroyed the Chaghi monumenta mountain-shaped sculpture commemorating the site of Pakistan’s first nuclear test.
“If they think that the arrest of Imran Khan will demoralize us, they are completely wrong,” said one of his supporters, Niaz Ali, in Peshawar. “We stand by Imran Khan and we will support him to death,” he continued.
The authorities ordered the closure of schools nationwide and restricted access to social media.
The PTI party had called on its supporters to take to the streets, but the police warned that there is an ordinance in force that prohibits gatherings of more than four people and that they would strictly enforce it.
Khan was dismissed in October 2022 through a motion of no confidence in Parliamentapproved after the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the then prime minister to dissolve Parliament and announced early elections after the refusal of the Presidency of the legislative body to hold the vote in the first instance.
In November, the former prime minister was shot and wounded after being shot during a protest against the new government, headed by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
Now, he is in custody as the authorities investigate his involvement in a corruption case derived from the alleged delivery of land to Al Qadir University in exchange for the return of an amount of money seized in the United Kingdom from the Pakistani businessman Malik Riaz.
Both he and his wife, Bushra Bibi, have been accused of being behind an embezzlement of 50,000 million rupees (about 157 million euros) after a deal with a billionaire.
(With information from AFP and Europa Press)
Pakistan: Former Prime Minister Imran Khan Arrested During His Court Appearance
The US called for respect for democracy in Pakistan and the UN will monitor the trial against the former prime minister