Fresh turmoil in Pakistan as former PM Imran Khan faces arrest
Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan faces a court-ordered arrest by police in the eastern city of Lahore on Wednesday amid clashes between his supporters and law enforcement personnel.
Here are key details of the situation:
Court orders to arrest Khan came in a case pertaining to his selling state gifts given by foreign leaders while he was prime minister. Pakistan’s election commission found him guilty in the matter and now a criminal inquiry is under way. Khan says he broke no rules and sold the items legally.
Police say a court in Islamabad ordered Khan’s arrest for not appearing before it despite repeated summons. Khan and his aides cite security concerns for the non-appearance. He was injured in an attack on his protest gathering last year.
Khan says 76 cases have been registered against him since he was ousted by a parliamentary vote in April 2022, less than four years into his five-year term. He has appeared in court for other cases.
If convicted, Khan faces being barred from holding public office, which would be a setback for the cricketer-turned-politician with a national election scheduled for November.
If he is arrested, Khan’s party has vowed to ramp up protests, which analysts say would add to the struggles of a government already hobbled by an economic crisis that has left the nuclear-armed country on the brink of default.