Tensions Soar in Pak as Hundreds Protest Against Imran Khan’s Arrest, Vow to 'Take Over' Islamabad

Political tensions are escalating in Pakistan as the former Prime Minister Imran Khan faces eminent arrest under anti-terrorism charges over comments he made at a rally in Islamabad last week. Just as the news broke, hundreds of supporters backing Imran Khan and his PTI party thronged the street of Islamabad. They camped outside the Ex-PM’s home, vowing to “take over” the capital if cops try to arrest him.

Videos posted on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf or PTI’s twitter account showed hundreds of people marching in support of Khan. Protesters were seen chanting “Imran Khan is our RED LINE… don’t think about crossing it.” Cops who were present at the scene, but claimed they were not there to arrest the former leader, but to maintain law and order situation.

The FIR against Khan reads that he in his speech had “terrorised and threatened top police officials and a respected female additional sessions judge” with the aim to stop them from performing their functions and abstain from pursuing any action against any individual related to his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party, news agency PTI reported. According to the latest post by the party, the PTI leaders reached the Islamabad High Court.

As per media reports, YouTube services in parts of the country reportedly faced disruptions during Khan’s speech and while his live speech was also ‘banned’ on TV channels on Saturday night by the electronic media regulator. Reacting to the action by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, Imran Khan lashed out and said, “The fascist Imported govt sunk to a new low today by banning live coverage of my speeches on TV & then blocking YouTube temporarily during my speech at Liaquat Bagh. All this after continuous intimidation of mediapersons & taking channels off air earlier.”

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According to AP, Police arrested Khan’s political aide, Shahbaz Gill, earlier this month after he appeared on the private television channel ARY TV and urged soldiers and officers to refuse to obey illegal orders from the military leadership. Gill was charged with treason, which under Pakistani law carries the death penalty. ARY also remains off-air in Pakistan following the broadcast.

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