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US Remains Neutral Regarding Imran Khan’s Arrest: ‘No Position on Specific Political Candidates’

The United States responded to the arrest of former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday by saying that while it is aware of the developments in Islamabad, it maintains a neutral posture regarding political candidates and parties. Both the United States and the United Kingdom emphasised the value of maintaining the rule of law in Pakistan at a joint press conference. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated his desire for a democratic society that upholds the constitution in a peaceful manner, and UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly reiterated this attitude while highlighting the importance of the rule of law.

Following Imran Khan’s arrest, a series of events transpired:

  1. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporters protested in cities all over the nation. Both the Pakistan Army’s headquarters in Rawalpindi and the corps commanders’ homes in Lahore were attacked by protesters.
  2. More demonstrations are scheduled for Wednesday, and PTI supporters are being urged to mobilise both inside and outside of Pakistan.
  3. PTI has told its leaders, employees, and supporters to assemble on Wednesday morning at the Islamabad Judicial Complex.
  4. Since the Islamabad High Court determined that Imran Khan’s arrest was legal and rejected bail, he spent the night in custody. The Supreme Court will hear an appeal of this ruling.
  5. In the Al-Qadir Trust case, Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi are accused of accepting millions of rupees from a real estate company to help legalise a 50 billion rupee money that was laundered.
  6. In the midst of the violent riots, internet service in Pakistan was momentarily interrupted. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority was urged to resume service by Amnesty International.
  7. Wasim Akram, a former Pakistan cricket captain, backed Imran Khan, and Indian politician Priyanka Chaturvedi called the situation in Pakistan a “disaster.”
  8. According to PTI supporters, Khan was allegedly assaulted, hit in the head, and kidnapped during the course of his arrest.

Imran Khan’s detention is still being contested in court, and other demonstrations are being organised. The necessity of supporting the rule of law and ensuring peaceful democratic processes in Pakistan is still repeatedly emphasised by the international community, which includes the US and the UK.

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