It seems that Pakistan may be heading towards a dangerous situation as PTI and its supporters will not let the coalition government arrest former Prime Minister Imran Khan.
According to the details, the PTI chief was booked under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (punishment for acts of terrorism) regarding his comments at his Islamabad rally on Saturday.
Therefore, a First Information Report (FIR) was registered against Imran Khan. An additional police force has been deployed outside Imran Khan’s Bani Gala residence. It is unclear whether arrest warrants for Imran Khan have been issued or not, however, PTI leader Murad Saeed, taking to Twitter, confirmed that the orders have been issued for the arrest of the party chairperson.
“Arrest orders issued for Imran Khan. The time has come to ask for self-control and to pay the price for being courageous. Come out for the sake of Pakistan!” Murad Saeed tweeted.
عمران خان کی گرفتاری کے آرڈرز جاری۔ اپنی خودداری مانگنے کی جسارت کی قیمت چکھانے کا وقت آگیا ہے۔نکلو پاکستان کی خاطر!
— Murad Saeed (@MuradSaeedPTI) August 21, 2022
Late Sunday, the news of Imran Khan’s arrest spread on social media. PTI leaders across the country, including the leaders of Karachi and the Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan, directed the workers to reach Bani Gala.
PTI workers and supporters gather outside Bani Gala
Following the news of Imran Khan’s possible arrest, PTI workers gathered outside Bani Gala and raised slogans in favor of the PTI Chief. Top PTI leaders including Fawad Chaudhry, Asad Umar, Faisal Javed, and Murad Saeed also reached Bani Gala. They warned the government not to cross “the red line”.
— PTI (@PTIofficial) August 21, 2022
On the other hand, a large number of PTI workers and supporters staged a sit-in against Imran Khan’s arrest in different cities. A large number of people took to the streets in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, and Sialkot. Videos of the public chanting slogans in support of Imran Khan are making the rounds on social media.
Pertinent to mention that currently, Imran Khan is Pakistan’s most popular political leader. The majority of the public has thrown its support behind PTI and Imran Khan. The public is also charged against the incumbent government.
Tensions are extremely high in Pakistan as PTI and the government continue to lock horns. PTI, while enjoying mass public support, often lashes out at the government and state institutions, resulting in the government filing charges against PTI in retaliation.
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah even said the government was holding legal consultations on whether to file a separate case against PTI Chairman Imran Khan for his “provocative speech” on Saturday or nominate him in a previous case.
Whatever course of action the government may take, one thing is clear, should Imran Khan be arrested, the public will not hold back. Thousands came out just over “reports” of Imran Khan’s possible arrest.
Thread of people's reaction after police decides to arrest Imran khan:
— Sadia A 🇵🇰 (@DrSadiaAz) August 21, 2022