Pakistan crisis: Arrest of Imran Khan deemed illegal

Pakistan crisis: Arrest of Imran Khan deemed illegal

Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi

Modern Tokyo Times

The arrest of the former prime minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, resulted in mass protests. His supporters were inflamed by the sight of Imran Khan being arrested by countless numbers of the security apparatus.

At least ten people have been killed during the protests. On top of this, thousands have been arrested – with images of events spreading internationally.

The Supreme Court ruled that the arrest of Imran Khan was illegal.

The BBC reports, “Mr. Khan stood surrounded by his lawyers in front of the three Supreme Court judges as they told him that because of the way he had been arrested on Tuesday – inside a court complex, conducting biometric tests – the arrest was invalid.”

Voice of America reports, “Pakistan has a history of military takeovers, political upheaval and social unrest. Khan is the seventh prime minister to be arrested since 1977. Military property, including the home of a top commander, has been destroyed. The current turmoil comes as the already embattled country struggles with a dire economic situation, a spike in militancy, and the impact of last year’s catastrophic floods. This grimness is unlikely to be addressed or resolved soon, further straining living conditions and security for the 220-million population.”

Imran Khan said, “I was caught as if I am a terrorist… How am I responsible for the protests?”

He continued: “We don’t want anarchy in the country.”

Imran Khan will appear before the High Court in Islamabad on Friday. Naturally, he desires bail from the corruption charges that have been leveled against him.

Rana Sanaullah, the Interior Minister, said: “We will arrest him again. If he gets bail from the high court tomorrow, we will wait for the cancellation of bail and arrest him again.”

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is dismayed by the Supreme Court decision.

The Guardian reports, “Khan had enjoyed a close relationship with the military while he was in power, but after he was removed from office last year he became highly critical of the top military leaders and accused them of colluding with foreign powers to orchestrate his downfall and of attempting to assassinate him. The military has denied all of his accusations.”

Imran Khan and other high-ranking members of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) face a political clampdown by government forces. Accordingly, Fawad Chaudhry (PTI spokesperson), Shah Mahmood Qureshi (former Foreign Minister under Imran), Asad Umar (former Finance Minister), and others including Ejaz Chaudhry and Ali Muhammad Khan – have been detained.

The police in Islamabad accuses the PTI of “… inciting arson and violent protests under a well-thought-out plan for threatening peace.”

Since lawmakers passed a no-confidence vote to oust Imran Khan from power, then many charges of corruption against him have followed.

Lee Jay Walker says, “Pakistan is blighted by a major economic crisis, record high inflation, religious intolerance against minorities, the convulsions of mass flooding, Islamist militancy, and complex talks with the IMF over sufficient funding to keep the nation afloat – while military hardware from America and China continues.”

It is hoped that all sides will de-escalate – and that the legal system will be free from intimidation – irrespective of which side is inflaming the situation.

Pakistan needs a reset – corruption, military power, and attacks against former leaders are nothing new in this country.

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group Modern Tokyo Times – International News and Japan News – Sawako Utsumi’s website and Modern Tokyo Times artist Modern Tokyo News – Tokyo News and International News