Former Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s arrest by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has caused nationwide protests.
The United Nations has taken notice of the situation, with UN Secretary General António Guterres calling for everyone to refrain from violence.
According to Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, Guterres has appealed to all parties to respect the right to peaceful assembly and has stressed the need for law-enforcers to honour the law while enforcing it against Khan.
“The Secretary-General urges the authorities to respect due process and the rule of law in proceedings brought against former Prime Minister Khan,” the spokesman said.
Khan had appeared in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for bail in various cases, but was taken into custody by paratroopers in large numbers from the court premises. This sparked violent clashes across the country, during which hundreds of PTI party workers were detained, including former federal ministers, Asad Umar, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Fawad Chaudhry and Ali Zaidi.
Party supporters in several cities took to the streets, wielding sticks and face masks, and clashed with security forces who fired tear gas to disperse the crowds. Some supporters even entered the army’s headquarters in Rawalpindi, shouting angry slogans.
The UN’s call for peace comes amidst rising tensions and violent clashes across Pakistan.