Amid a chaotic situation in neighbouring Pakistan following former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, India said it is “closely” monitoring the situation in Islamabad.
Besides, the Defence sources of news agency ANI, said that a strong vigil is also maintained by the forces along the Line of Control and the international border.
In a major development in the cash-strapped nation, in a series of dramatic instances, Pakistani Rangers arrested Khan as he appeared in Islamabad High Court to face charges in multiple graft cases. According to police, Khan was taken to the garrison city of Rawalpindi, near Islamabad, for questioning at the offices of the National Accountability Bureau. However, the reason did not calm down Khan’s staunch supporters from ravaging the country and public properties.
What leads to Imran’s arrest
Notably, Khan was wounded by a gunman at a rally in November, an attack that killed one of his supporters and wounded 13. On several occasions, he claimed Army and intelligence officials behind his assassination plot. He even claimed West for the attack.
Recently, he doubled down on an attack on the Pakistani army without offering any evidence, that there is a plot to assassinate him, alleging that Pakistan’s spy agency was behind the conspiracy.
Earlier today, he again issued a video message before heading to Islamabad, saying he was “mentally prepared” for arrest there. However, this did not lead to his arrest. According to govt officials, he was arrested in a corruption case.
Corruption case that leads to Khan’s arrest
Tuesday’s arrest was based on a new warrant from the National Accountability Bureau obtained last week in a separate graft case for which Khan had not obtained bail, making him vulnerable to arrest. He is scheduled to appear before an anti-graft tribunal on Wednesday, officials said.
“Imran Khan has been arrested because he was being sought in a graft case,” Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan told a news conference. He alleged Pakistan’s treasury had lost millions of dollars while Khan was in office due to illegal purchases of lands from a business tycoon.
What PM Sharif says on Imran’s arrest
Sharif, whose government faces spiralling economic woes and is struggling to recover from last year’s devastating floods that killed hundreds and caused $30 billion in damage, slammed Khan for assailing the military.
“Let this be abundantly clear that you, as former prime minister, currently on trial for corruption, are claiming legitimacy to overturn the legal and political system,” Sharif tweeted after Khan’s arrest. “I have no doubt that lies, misrepresentations and vicious attacks on institutions are the curtain-raisers of your politics. Your attitude is like bending the judiciary to your whims,” wrote Sharif in a long message countering Imran’s attack on Pakistani army and intelligence officials.
Massive protest erupts across Pakistan
The agitated Imran’s supporters even the official residence of the top regional commander in Lahore, smashed windows and doors, damaged furniture. Besides, the protesters burned police vehicles and blocked key roads.
Surprisingly, protestors smashed the main gate of the army’s headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, where troops exercised restraint. Hundreds of demonstrators shouted pro-Khan slogans as they moved toward the sprawling building.
In the port city of Karachi, police swung batons and fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of Khan supporters who had gathered on a key road.
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