Violent protests erupted in several Pakistani cities following the arrest of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad on Tuesday.
according Geo News Khan was arrested by a paramilitary force as he was due to appear in court in connection with a corruption case.
Video of the arrest shows dozens of police in heavy riot gear. They surround Khan and guide him into a black van.
– Imran Khan’s car was surrounded, said Khan’s associate Fawad Chaudry.
Shortly after, the Pakistani party Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) confirmed that the party leader had been arrested.
In Karachi and Lahore, police fired tear gas and water cannons at protesters, while in the capital Islamabad, nearby Rawalpindi and Peshawar, protesters blocked roads.
In several places, angry mobs are reported to have attempted to break into military installations.
According to Chaudry, the court building was “attacked” by security forces as the hearing was about to begin. Pakistani TV stations showed chaotic conditions outside the courtroom where street fights broke out between hundreds of Khan supporters and police.
Khan’s whereabouts were unknown Tuesday afternoon.
Khan was ousted as prime minister after a vote of no confidence a year ago. Since then, there have been a number of protests and riots among his supporters.
In March, he was charged with terrorism offenses along with 17 of his supporters. He is also accused of obstructing police work, attacking police and making death threats, as well as illegally selling gifts he received from other countries while he was prime minister.
The former prime minister and cricket star denies all the allegations.
Tuesday’s arrest came a day after he was warned of what the military calls ‘baseless allegations’ after Khan again accused a senior intelligence officer of plotting to kill him .
The military backed Khan when he came to power in 2018, but withdrew its support before he was defeated in a no-confidence vote last year.
Pakistan is in the grip of a deep political and economic crisis. The country is now ruled by a fragile coalition government and Khan is trying to push for new elections.
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