Pakistan deploys army to quell protests

Lazy eyes listen


The Pakistani military has been deployed in the aftermath of a series of violent rallies following the arrest of ex-prime minister Imran Khan earlier this week, with at least eight people murdered and over 1,000 people detained by police.

On Wednesday, the military forces were called in to deal with noisy protesters after Khan was indicted on new corruption accusations. Khan’s fans were outraged by his detention the day before, with thousands gathering in Islamabad and other towns to block highways, battle with police, and even assault law enforcement and military buildings.

“Such scenes were never seen by the people of Pakistan,” Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif said in a televised address, adding that protesters “damaged sensitive public and private property.”

According to police sources reported by the BBC, eight people have died as a result of the fighting, while 1,000 have been arrested, the vast majority of them are in the eastern Punjab province. According to local sources, the army was called to the region after 157 police officers were hurt in fighting there.

Protesters were seen tossing things at police and igniting fires in the streets, according to photos collected by the Associated Press.

The military eventually issued its own statement, warning that the continuous disarray was dragging Pakistan towards “civil war,” and promising “strict action” against anyone responsible for attacks on military assets.

On Tuesday, armed officers from the National Accountability Bureau stormed the building to take Khan into custody as he faced another batch of corruption allegations in an Islamabad court. The 70-year-old lawmaker was deposed in a no-confidence vote last year and has since been indicted on a slew of crimes, including “terrorism.” He is presently being imprisoned in a police complex in Pakistan’s capital, where a judge just ordered him to be held for another eight days.