June 1, 2023

Arrests on Monday raised the total number of followers of the Pakistani Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader detained in Islamabad to 198 from Saturday. Image courtesy of AP.

Islamabad: Pakistani police on Monday arrested Imran Khan’s nephew and a number of his supporters for their alleged involvement in attacks on security officials outside a courthouse in Islamabad over the weekend, where the ousted prime minister traveled from Lahore to attend a long-awaited hearing in a corruption case.

The series of arrests is the latest in a growing number of cases brought against Imran Khan, head of Pakistan’s main opposition party Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

Monday’s arrests brought the total number of followers of Pakistani Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan detained in Islamabad to 198 since Saturday.

Hassan Niazi, Imran Khan’s nephew, is also among those arrested.

The details of the rest of the arrests were not immediately known. His supporters threw Molotov cocktails and stones at the police, while the special forces used batons and tear gas.

More than 50 officers were injured, a police checkpoint, several cars and motorcycles were set on fire.

Imran Khan and more than 1,000 PTI employees were charged with terrorism by the Lahore police on Sunday in two cases.

The number of cases against Imran Khan has risen to 97.

Police also said that rifles, Kalashnikov assault rifles, bullets, marbles and firebombs were seized during a search of his home.

Imran Khan, 70, who arrived in the federal capital from Lahore on Saturday, appeared before the gates of the district court in a long-awaited corruption case.

However, due to violence outside the court complex, the judge allowed Imran Khan to return home after signing the register.

The former prime minister has been in the spotlight, buying gifts, including an expensive Graff wristwatch he received as prime minister at a discounted price from a government-owned store called Toshakhana, and selling them for a profit.

Imran Khan was disqualified by the Electoral Commission of Pakistan last October for failing to provide details of the sale.

The electoral body later filed a complaint with the district court demanding that he be punished under criminal law for selling gifts he received as prime minister.

Imran Khan vehemently denied these accusations.

Imran Khan, a cricketer-turned-politician, was ousted from power last April after losing a vote of no confidence he claimed was part of a US-led conspiracy directed against him over his independent foreign policy decisions in relations between Russia and China. , and Afghanistan.

After his exile, he is demanding early elections to overthrow what he called an “imported government” led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Shehbaz Sharif claims that elections will be held later this year, when the parliament’s term expires.

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