Pakistan is facing a crisis as violence and unrest continue to spread across the country in the wake of the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan. The situation has escalated to such an extent that the largest state, Punjab, has been handed over to the army, and a state of emergency has been declared.
Deployment of Army Commandos and Paramilitary Forces
In the aftermath of Imran Khan’s arrest, the army has been deployed in Punjab province. Army commandos have been deployed to secure the nuclear facility in Chang area. Paramilitary Force Rangers have also been deployed in important cities, and a red alert has been issued in Islamabad. Schools and colleges have been closed for two days, and Section 144 has been imposed in Islamabad, Punjab province, and Peshawar.
Violence and Arson in Every City
The unrest has resulted in violence and arson in cities throughout Pakistan. Radio Pakistan building in Peshawar was set on fire, and Imran’s party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has released a combo photo of violence in 18 cities. Lahore police have reported that the supporters of Imran Khan’s party have gone out of control, attacking the Shadman police station in the city. This has caused damage to the main gate of the police station.
Death Toll and Arrests
The unrest has already claimed the lives of eight people, and over 130 police officers have been injured. Nearly 1,000 people have been arrested in Punjab province alone, which is Pakistan’s most populous province. This has resulted in a state of emergency being declared and the army being deployed to maintain order.
Imran Khan’s Arrest and Conviction
Imran Khan’s arrest is based on charges of a 60 billion Pakistani rupee scam. The probe agency had sought a 14-day remand, but the judge handed over Imran to the investigating agency on physical remand for eight days. On Wednesday, Imran was convicted in the Toshakhana case, a day after he was arrested from outside the Islamabad High Court in the Al-Qadir Trust case.
The Toshakhana controversy came to light when the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led coalition government filed a case against Imran in August 2022, claiming that he had not accepted the gifts given to Toshakhana. He also did not disclose information about and income from the illegal sale of some gifts.
Pakistan is moving towards civil war as violence and unrest continue to escalate across the country. The deployment of the army and paramilitary forces in Punjab province and important cities has been necessary to maintain order. However, the situation remains tense, and it is crucial for the government to take immediate steps to prevent further violence and restore peace in the country.