The tension in Pakistan continues: the police surrounded the house of the former prime minister and accused him of hiding protesters

The police presence near the house of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, in Lahore (AP Photo/KM Chaudary) (KM Chaudary/)

Pakistani police surrounded the home of the former prime minister on Wednesday Imran Khanaccusing him of hiding dozens of people involved in the violent protests over his recent arrest there.

Police deployment could further anger Khan’s supporters and sparked fears of further clashes between them and security forces. Last week, Khan’s supporters attacked public buildings and military installations after the former prime minister was dragged out of court and detained.

The popular opposition leader was released at the weekend and returned to his home in an affluent neighborhood of Lahore, Pakistan’s second-largest city and the capital of Punjab state.

On Wednesday, Khan took to Twitter after 200 police officers surrounded his home and a prisoner’s van arrived at the scene. “This is probably my last tweet before my next arrest”Khan wrote. “The police have surrounded my house.”

Hours earlier, Amir Mir, spokesman for the Punjab provincial government, warned that Khan had 24 hours to hand over more than 40 suspects that they were supposedly hiding in his house, or else his house would be raided. At a press conference, Mir said that so far 3,400 suspects had been detained and that other raids are planned.

3,400 suspects would have been detained (REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro/File Photo)
3,400 suspects would have been detained (REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro/File Photo) (AKHTAR SOOMRO/)

Pakistani authorities have said that civilians involved in the recent protests will be prosecuted in military courts. “We will never allow the recent tragic, planned and orchestrated incidents to happen again,” Army Commander General Asim Munir said in a speech to troops on Wednesday.

Amnesty International and the Pakistan Human Rights Commission expressed their alarm about the government plan.

Dinushika Dissanayake, Amnesty International’s deputy director for the South Asia region, said that trying civilians in military courts is against international law.

In Pakistan, military trials are often held at door closedwhich deprives civilians of some of their basic rights, such as the hiring of a lawyer of their choice.

A wave of violence It rocked the capital Islamabad and other urban areas following the dramatic arrest of Khan, who now leads the opposition, while in court on Tuesday last week.

On Wednesday, a high court in Islamabad extended Khan’s bail and protection from arrest until the end of the month.

Khan, 70, was ousted by Parliament last year. Currently, he faces more than 100 cases, mostly on charges of inciting violence, threatening officials and violating the ban on holding political rallies. In addition, he is facing a corruption case together with his wife.

(With information from AP)

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