Al Jazeera was informed by the country’s former prime minister that the ruling coalition and the military want him “removed from the electoral field in an election year.”
Former Prime Minister Imran Khan has asserted that Pakistan’s ruling coalition and the military are conducting a crackdown against him and his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), in an effort to prevent him from running for office in the 2018 general election.
Khan told Al Jazeera late on Wednesday night from his apartment in Zaman Park, which is located in the eastern city of Lahore, that more than one hundred lawsuits have been filed against him in an effort to prevent him from participating in the electoral process.
“Every political party and the establishment want me removed from the electoral field in an election year,” he claimed, adding that on Wednesday the police surrounded his house and restricted access to the key roads in the area.
On Wednesday evening, there was a large police presence outside Khan’s home house. The police asserted that Khan was providing shelter to scores of people who were reportedly participating in violent rallies against his recent detention, and they were angry about Khan’s arrest.
On May 9, the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was detained by paramilitary forces while he was appearing before the Islamabad High Court.
The shocking arrest caused huge protests around the country, some of which descended into violence when they were directed toward military posts and residential areas. During the demonstrations, at least ten people were killed, and almost 5,000 people, including prominent members of the PTI, were arrested.
On Tuesday, the civilian and military leaders of the country said that those individuals who attacked military sites will be punished under army regulations, which is a decision that has been criticised by rights groups.
Khan dismisses the charges that his supporters have been responsible for burning and violence committed by government personnel.