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Imran Khan Urges Nationwide Protests for Immediate Elections After Arrest

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In a bid to rally his supporters and demand immediate elections, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, has called for nationwide “freedom” protests. This comes in the wake of Khan’s recent arrest and subsequent release on bail, which sparked violent unrest across the country. Khan, who has faced numerous legal cases since being ousted from power in 2022, declared his detention as unlawful, leading to his release by the supreme court.

The arrest of Khan, a prominent figure and former cricket superstar, triggered outrage among his supporters. In response, government buildings were set on fire, roads were blocked, and property belonging to the military, whom they hold responsible for Khan’s downfall, was damaged. Khan took to YouTube to address his followers, emphasizing the need to fight for freedom and sacrifice for it. He urged his supporters to organize protests in their own neighborhoods and villages, urging a unified push for immediate elections.

For months, Khan has been openly defying the military, accusing senior officials of involvement in an assassination attempt against him in 2022. Pakistan’s military, which has exerted significant control over the country’s political system throughout its history, has been a target of Khan’s criticism. However, it remains unclear whether Khan was referring to the current army chief or his predecessor when blaming the military for his arrest.

While Khan distanced himself from the attacks on military installations during the protests, he called for an independent investigation into the violence. The army, denying Khan’s accusations, cautioned against creating “misperceptions” about the institution. The unrest resulted in at least nine deaths, hundreds of injured police officers, and over 4,000 people detained, according to official reports.

As the situation in Pakistan remains volatile, Khan’s call for nationwide protests has raised concerns about potential further violence. The government has vowed to take strict action against any attempts to disrupt law and order, with instructions given to provincial authorities to deal firmly with any roadblocks or disturbances caused by Khan’s supporters.

The ongoing clashes between Khan’s followers and the government reflect the deep divisions within Pakistani society and the struggle for political power. The outcome of these protests and the demands for immediate elections will significantly impact the future direction of the country.

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