Pakistan Former PM Imran Khan Arrested by Pakistani Rangers
According to authorities, Imran Khan, the former Prime Minister and main opposition leader of Pakistan, was apprehended on Tuesday, intensifying the political crisis in the country and heightening the likelihood of further confrontations between his followers and law enforcement personnel.
According to Islamabad police spokesman Taqi Jawwad, former Pakistani Prime Minister Khan has been arrested in connection with a long-standing corruption case. The former prime minister faces several other charges in separate cases. Pakistani authorities had previously attempted to seek Khan's cooperation in the corruption investigation, but their efforts were unsuccessful. He was subsequently apprehended by officers at the Islamabad court premises, where he was attending a trial for different charges.
Khan's arrest follows a period of escalating tensions between the former prime minister, who was removed from office last year, the current government, and the country's powerful military. Recently, Khan accused a senior officer of being involved in an assassination attempt against him, which he narrowly survived. His political party alleges that the arrest is politically motivated and connected to the current government under Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. Supporters of Khan claim that the government is acting undemocratically, citing the repeated delays of key regional votes this year after Khan's better-than-expected performance in the by-elections last October.
Following the arrest, Khan's party has called for nationwide protests, and there have been reports of spontaneous demonstrations on a capital city highway and in the northwestern regional capital of Peshawar. A previous attempt to arrest Khan in March resulted in fierce clashes between Pakistani police and the former prime minister's supporters, leaving many people injured.