Pakistan police clash with supporters of Imran Khan

October 28, 2016 7:32 pm
Pakistani police have clashed with supporters of popular opposition leader Imran Khan, firing tear gas at protesters who defied a ban on public gatherings.
Imran Khan on Friday accused the government of placing him under virtual house arrest in Islamabad as his supporters in nearby Rawalpindi fought running battles with the police.

Protesters throw stones toward police during a protest in Rawalpindi, , October 28, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Khan, a former cricket hero, told reporters outside his home that he had been placed “under almost house arrest” by scores of police officers stationed around the residence in the capital.
“To all my activists, you have to prepare for November 2, you have to escape capture,” he said.

Pakistani policemen arrest an activist of Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf (Movement for Justice) party during a protest in Rawalpindi on October 28, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Khan called for nationwide protests on Friday after 38 activists from his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party were arrested a day earlier during a raid by baton-wielding police on an indoor youth rally in Islamabad.
Police teargassed and baton-charged the rock-throwing protesters in Rawalpindi, located about 20 kilometers from Islamabad, as both sides prepared for Kahn’s plan to shut down the capital on November 2 in an attempt to force Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign.
‘Newborn killed by tear gas’
Tear gas used against opposition protesters in Rawalpindi killed a newborn baby.
“Police fired teargas shells when I was returning from prayers. As an adult, it was difficult even for me to breathe at that time … I rushed my baby to hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead on arrival,” the father of the newborn boy said.

Activists of Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf (Movement for Justice) party chant slogans during a protest in Lahore on October 28, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Premier Sharif is not only under pressure by the opposition, but also under pressure from his own camp, where relations between his ruling PML-N party and the powerful have been strained following a leak by a popular newspaper of details about a high-level security meeting between Islamabad and the top brass that angered army officials.
Khan’s latest challenge to Sharif’s government is based on leaked documents from the Panama Papers. Khan has described the upcoming mass protest as a final push to force Sharif to resign over corruption charges discovered in the Panama Papers.
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