George Galloway yesterday.
Of course it was a coup
Pakistan’s Supreme Court has ruled that the arrest of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was illegal and has ordered his immediate release, following two days of deadly protests and spreading unrest, which has pitted his supporters against the miliary and security services.
Khan was taken into custody when he appeared in the Islamabad High Court Tuesday, and was filmed being whisked away in an armored vehicle by dozens of anti-corruption task force agents dressed in Swat gear. The scene sparked outrage, and was interpreted by his opposition Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI) as a political ploy to block him from challenging Shahbaz Sharif. Top military commanders have also come out against Khan.
King Khan in Supreme Court pic.twitter.com/LkLcZkcEdc
— Virk Shahzaib (@VirkSh786) May 11, 2023
By Tuesday the army had deployed to the streets of the capital of Islamabad, after protesting mobs began raiding military buildings and bases. A national radio building was also burned to the ground.
The BBC on Thursday has confirmed:
The court ordered Mr Khan’s immediate release. His lawyers had argued that his detention from court premises in Islamabad on Tuesday was unlawful.
At least 10 people have been killed and 2,000 arrested as violent protests have swept the country since he was held.
When Khan was taken into custody, he was attending a court hearing related to an Al-Qadir Trust corruption hearing. Khan heads the trust with his wife, and there’s an ongoing probe over billions lost in a ‘bad deal’ as well as corruption allegations going back years.
Since the overnight hours, a sense of calm may have begun to return to the capital amid a heavy military presence…
— Islamabad Updates (@IslamabadViews) May 11, 2023
But it may not be over, given the government appears ready to pursue Khan further:
Amid speculation ahead of his appearance Thursday that the Supreme Court could order his release, national Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb told reporters in Islamabad that it would be “unfair” for the top court to intervene is such a manner. Aurangzeb noted the violence instigated by Khan’s supporters this week and said a release order would be tantamount to a “license to kill to everyone.”
Yesterday, many PTI party bosses were arrested, with the central government denouncing ‘acts of terror’ on the part of the protests, which were encouraged by Khan’s party.