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In Pakistan, Imran Khan besieged by his adversaries


Imran Khan’s home in the affluent Zaman Park suburb of Lahore has regained some semblance of calm. Supporters of the former Pakistani prime minister have been guarding since Monday to prevent the police from coming to arrest their leader. After two days of violent clashes with security forces near his home and in several cities in Pakistan, the High Court in Lahore granted Imran Khan a reprieve on Wednesday March 15 and ordered the police and the paramilitaries to withdraw. Roadblocks and checkpoints have been lifted.

A few hours earlier, the former glory of cricket had sent a video where, sitting in front of the remains of dozens of tear gas canisters fired into his property, he had assured that the authorities wanted the” to remove “ and the” murder “.

The police want to apprehend him to force him to appear in court on March 18. He is accused of having enriched himself with the diplomatic gifts received when he was prime minister, from 2018 to 2022, which he would not have declared, contrary to legal obligations.

“Pure and simple provocation”

This practice is not limited to Imran Khan. According to a list, published Sunday, March 12 in the press, all government officials, as part of their functions, have been recipients, for twenty years, of valuable gifts. It ranges from Rolex watches to luxury cars to a gold and gemstone crown. Pakistani law obliges you to declare the gifts received and to keep only the least expensive ones.

Imran Khan assures us that he does not want to evade justice, but he asks to be heard by videoconference, convinced that the authorities want to assassinate him. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, for his part, accuses him of “defy all the courts of the country” and get locked in “pure and simple provocation”.

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This case is only the latest episode in the political war between Imran Khan and his successor, who overthrew him in April 2022, after the vote of a motion of no confidence. Since his ousting, Imran Khan claims to be the victim of a plot organized with the support of the army and the United States, and has successfully mobilized the streets to demand early elections. It has never been so popular. Millions of supporters attend his giant rallies. He escaped an assassination attempt in November 2022, when, leading a march against power, he was shot in the leg.

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