A clash between the supporters of Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan and the police resulted in the death of one protester in Lahore, reported Dawn.
These clashes come just when Pakistan's economy is on the verge of default and the talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are stuck on account of tough pre-conditions imposed by IMF on Pakistan.
Imran Khan, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) president has planned to start his election campaign with a march in Lahore, the Dawn report says.
The purpose of this march was to protest against the judiciary and government officials who, according to Imran Khan, have slapped false charges against him and issued a non-bailable warrant for his arrest.
However, the Lahore Police imposed Section-144 banning all protest marches, sit-ins, etc on account of security threats, the report says.
Despite the imposition of Section-144, thousands of Khan’s supporters gathered outside Khan’s home in Zaman Park which resulted in clashes with his supporters.
Pakistan's security situation is already precarious. Just four days ago, nine policemen were killed in a suicide attack on a police truck, in the province of Balochistan.
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has also became active with multiple suicide bombings in various parts of Pakistan.
A recent ANI report citing Dawn claims that about four hundred Pakistani soldiers and policemen have been killed in the last ten years.
Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court has released a non-bailable warrant against Khan, on the Toshkhana Reference Case.
The Toshkhana Reference Case says that, Imran Khan in his capacity as the prime minister of Pakistan illegally sold some of the gifts, that he received from heads of state of foreign countries, for personal use.
The Election Commission of Pakistan disqualified Imran Khan from the National Assembly and a criminal case was started against him.
It was in this case that Islamabad High Court released a non-bailable warrant against the embattled Pakistani Ex-PM.
However, the Lahore Police found itself unable to arrest Khan because his supporters surrounded his home at Zaman Park in Lahore.
It’s in this context that Imran Khan had asked for a protest march in Lahore on 8 March, where Lahore Police tried to disperse Khan’s supporters using water cannons, the Dawn report says.
One protester, however, died in the violence that ensued. Consequently, Imran Khan postponed his March till Saturday (11 March).
In another blow to Imran Khan, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) — a media regulatory body — has banned all satellite broadcasting channels from airing interviews and speeches of Imran Khan.
The PEMRA judgment claims that Imran Khan is spreading hate and leveling baseless allegations against Pakistan’s institutions.
PEMRA even banned a news channel ‘ARY’ for airing Imran Khan’s speech.
As Pakistan continues to grapple with a deteriorating security situation, political turmoil, and economic challenges, the future remains uncertain.
It remains to be seen how the country will navigate these complex issues in the days and weeks to come.
Editorial Associate at Swarajya. Writes on Indian Military and Defence.
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