33 Imran Khan supporters hand over to Army to face trials in military courts


Islamabad (AP) -Pakistan government tights its grip all over around the former Prime Minister Imran khan and his party PTI. A furious crackdown  The Pakistani government announced  that 17 more Imran Khan supporters will be present in military courts for recent anti- government violence, adding to the number of supporters of the former prime minister who have been court-martialed so far. The total number increased to 33.

The incident comes amid a government crackdown on Khan’s opposition Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf and its supporters over violent demonstrations following his arrest in Islamabad earlier this month.

Khan’s supporters have been attacking public property and military installations across the country for days. The violence subsided only after Mr Khan was released following an order by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. At least 10 people were killed in clashes between Khan’s supporters and police. Home Minister Rasan Sanaura Khan, who is not related to the former prime minister, said despite police arresting some 5,000 Khan supporters in the past two weeks, “only 33 suspects have been selected for military trials.”

He said about 80% of those detained had been released on bail awaiting trial in civil courts. He also accused croquet player-turned-Islamist politician Imran Khan of being an opposition leader and “initiator of violent attacks on military installations.”

“There is evidence of this,” the minister said, but he did not elaborate.

Khan himself has faced more than 100 lawsuits, including corruption charges, during his tenure as prime minister from 2018 to 2022, and has also been charged with terrorism for inciting violence. In court, he has protection from arrest while on trial in several cases.

Apart from political instability, Pakistan is also facing an unprecedented economic downturn. Talks between the government of Khan’s successor, Prime Minister Shabazz Sharif, and the International Monetary Fund over restoring the $6 billion bailout have been suspended since December.

Mr Khan argued that his own ousting as part of the April 2022 parliamentary no-confidence vote was illegal and a conspiracy by Sharif, Washington and the military to discredit himself. All three have denied the charges.