Ex-Pakistani Prime Minister Khan Urges Supporters To Hold Peaceful Protests Nationwide

Ex-Pakistani Prime Minister Khan Urges Supporters to Hold Peaceful Protests Nationwide

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday called for peaceful protests across the country, urging people not to stay at home in silence and saying he was fighting for Pakistan and the future of its children

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 05th August, 2023) Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday called for peaceful protests across the country, urging people not to stay at home in silence and saying he was fighting for Pakistan and the future of its children.

Earlier in the day, an Islamabad court sentenced Khan to three years in prison after finding him guilty of corrupt practices in the Toshakhana case.

"By the time you hear this statement, they will have arrested me. I have only one appeal: don't sit silently at home. I am struggling for you and the country and your children's future," Khan was quoted as saying in a recorded speech by Pakistan's Geo tv.

Following Khan's arrest, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party held an emergency meeting to discuss the next steps to secure his release.

"(The meeting included) Detailed consultation on the future strategy, including legal proceedings for the release of Chairman Tehreek-e-Insaf," the party wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the PTI's vice chairman, said the case was biased and vowed to fight to protect Khan.

"Our leader, Chairman (Khan) has been disqualified & arrested through a judgment that reeks of bias & injustice. Today is a black day - a huge miscarriage of justice to politically eliminate the most popular leader Pakistan. We will fight to protect our leader, adopting all possible legal avenues and measures to overturn this judgment," Qureshi tweeted.

On May 9, Khan was taken into custody on corruption charges after an Islamabad High Court (IHC) hearing in the Al-Qadir Trust case, where he had gone to seek bail in several cases filed against him. Following his arrest, his supporters launched mass protests across the country, resulting in violent clashes with police and attacks on government and military facilities. At least eight people died and about 290 were injured during the protests.

In October 2022, Pakistan's election commission stripped Khan of his parliamentary mandate as well as the right to be elected and appointed to both the country's Federal and regional legislatures for five years, after finding him guilty of selling 52 valuables stored in the Toshakhana, Pakistan's national treasury, and concealing information about gifts he received personally. In April 2022, then-opposition leader Nawaz Sharif said Khan had sold state treasures in Dubai worth a total of 140 million Pakistani rupees ($500,000).