The toll of violence since Tuesday night stands at eight, sources said.
The Islamabad District and Sessions Court has brought charges against Pakistani leader Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in the Toshakhana case, relating to the illegal sale of state gifts during his tenure as Prime Minister. Imran’s arrest on Tuesday was in the Al-Qadir Trust case, involving alleged bribes to him and his wife Bushra Bibi for helping a company launder 50 billion rupees ($239 million) of the United Kingdom thanks to their confidence.
The national upheaval caused by the crackdown on Imran and his party burned down government and military establishments in several cities, unsettling the military establishment, which issued a statement late that evening suggesting it had had enough of “organized attacks”. The Ramna police station in Islamabad was set on fire and the buildings of Radio Pakistan and the Associated Press of Pakistan in Peshawar were among those attacked.
“What the perennial enemy of the country has failed to achieve for the past 75 years, this group (PTI), disguised under a political cloak, has done out of sheer lust for power,” the media branch said. of the Army.
Three of Pakistan’s four provinces – Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan – and the administration of Islamabad have urged the federal government to deploy the army to the streets to restore law and order.
In a late evening televised address to the nation, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif called the attack on public property “an act of terrorism”. He said Imran’s arrest was within the law, unlike former federal ministers who reportedly announced cases against political opponents during PTI’s tenure in government and that Imran would predict arrests.
“Not only political opponents, but family and loved ones have not been forgiven either,” the prime minister said.
He said the “real role” and responsibility of political leaders was not to allow their workers to breach legal boundaries. “As a political worker, we cannot express our happiness during an arrest. It is indeed a bitter moment in life that we have gone through,” he said.
Earlier in the day, PTI General Secretary Asad Omar, former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and former Punjab Governor Omar Cheema were arrested along with dozens of PTI workers and leaders from Karachi, Hyderabad, Multan, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and other cities. The emergency room at Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar reported receiving four bodies riddled with bullets, likely killed in retaliation by security staff. About 27 other people were hospitalized with serious injuries.
In the eastern province of Punjab, officials said 157 police officers were injured in clashes with Imran supporters.
Schools, colleges and markets remained closed across Pakistan amid an internet blackout, which telecommunications authorities said would continue for an indefinite period.
Imran has been slapped with dozens of criminal cases since he was removed from office in April 2022 in a no-confidence vote in parliament. He accuses the army of being behind the movement. A conviction in the Toshakhana case would bar him from contesting elections scheduled for October.
Geo TV bulletins contained footage showing Imran appearing before a judge in a temporary court inside a police compound on Wednesday, the AP news agency reported. The first was seen sitting in a chair, holding a sheaf of documents.