On Wednesday, clashes between Pakistan’s police and supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan persisted outside his home in Lahore, a day after officers attempted to arrest him for failing to appear in court on graft charges.
The police operation triggered clashes between Khan’s supporters and police in major cities across the country. Khan’s supporters hurled rocks and bricks at the officers while police fired tear gas at his house.
The government sent additional police to tackle the situation after hundreds of Khan’s supporters showed unexpected perseverance.
The confrontation outside Khan’s house continued, and about a dozen police and some 35 of Khan’s supporters were reported injured.
Tear gas shells and pieces of bricks littered the pavement as Khan’s followers fought back with batons they had brought to resist police.
Khan, who was ousted in a no-confidence vote in Parliament in April, has avoided appearances before the court since November, claiming he was not medically fit to travel from Lahore to Islamabad to face indictment.
Khan has claimed that the string of cases against him, which includes terrorism charges, are a plot by the government of his successor, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, to discredit the former cricket star turned Islamist politician.
On Tuesday, Sharif told Pakistan’s Geo television that Khan’s arrest was ordered by a court, and it was not political victimization.
Angered over the expected arrest of Khan, his supporters took to the streets across Pakistan, blocking some key roads near Islamabad while asking the government to refrain from arresting Khan.
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