Pakistan arrests senior politician from ex-PM Khan’s occasion

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ISLAMABAD (AP) — Police in Pakistan arrested early on Wednesday a senior chief of former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s occasion on fees of threatening the chief of the elections overseeing physique and different authorities officers.

The arrest of Fawad Chaudhry, an outspoken critic of the federal government, is a serious setback for his occasion, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, wherein he serves as vice chairman. The occasion shortly condemned the arrest and demanded his launch.

The arrest passed off throughout a predawn raid at Chaudhry’s home in Lahore, the capital of japanese Punjab province, his household mentioned. Shireen Mazari, a spokesperson for Khan’s occasion, mentioned Chaudhry was taken in handcuffs straight to courtroom by police in Lahore.

Footage launched by the occasion later confirmed Chaudhry’s supporters gathered on the courtroom and throwing rose petals at him as police led him towards a courtroom.

Angered over his arrest, a whole bunch of Chaudhry’s supporters blocked a key freeway in Jehlum, his residence metropolis in Punjab province to demand his launch.

In an announcement, Islamabad police mentioned Chaudhry was arrested on a grievance from the Election Fee of Pakistan on fees of threatening the pinnacle of the elections overseeing physique, Sikandar Sultan Raja, and different officers. The threats have been meant to forestall them from performing their duties and incite individuals to violence towards them, police mentioned.

On Tuesday, Chaudhry criticized the elections overseeing physique for appointing a veteran journalist, Mohsin Naqvi, as caretaker chief minister in Punjab. Khan’s occasion and its allies have been in energy in Punjab and held majority seats within the provincial meeting however dissolved the home earlier this month, a transfer that apparently sought to strain the federal government in Islamabad.

The dissolution of the provincial meeting set in movement snap elections, which underneath the structure are to be held inside 90 days.

Chaudhry on Tuesday advised reporters that Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s authorities may arrest Khan at any time. Khan, who stays well-liked with an enormous grassroots following, was ousted in a no-confidence vote in Parliament final April and has been main the opposition since.

A former cricket star turned Islamist politician, Khan was wounded in a gun assault whereas main a rally towards the capital, Islamabad, final November. Considered one of Khan’s supporters was killed and a number of other others have been wounded within the taking pictures.

In October, the elections fee disqualified Khan from holding public workplace for 5 years after discovering he had unlawfully bought state presents and hid property as premier. Khan denies the cost and has filed a movement with a courtroom to problem the fee.

Khan has additionally claimed that he was toppled in a plot by Sharif and Washington, claims they each deny.

Together with the provincial meeting in Punjab, Khan’s allies earlier this month additionally dissolved the legislature in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the place Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf additionally had majority seats. The occasion has demanded early federal elections, which Sharif’s authorities has rejected, saying the vote shall be held as scheduled later this yr.

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