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Imran Khan set for major showdown with Pakistan’s ruling elites – and UK has reasons to be worried

We’re used to political infighting, but Imran Khan’s fate and the resulting unrest are causing major concern in the region as well as in the UK.

The dramatic images of the paramilitary operation that was launched to capture former Prime Minister has guaranteed him worldwide attention, along with his fame as an ex-cricketer.

The glamorous playboy who captained the national cricket team and led his country to a victory was known as much for his exploits at the West End nightclubs in London as for his sporting prowess.

He gave all of that up for a devout Pakistani politician who dedicated himself to a second career in public service.


The image of a 70-year old man being dragged along the street by paramilitary goons in body armor and batons prompted outrage, and ensured that the world’s eyes are now firmly focused on Pakistan.

The reputation of the country for following due process is being scrutinized more than ever before. The unrest couldn’t have come at a more inauspicious time, with the economic crisis creating the perfect conditions for a major political conflict.

This arrest has caused nationwide unrest and destruction of property. Multiple arrests have been made, as well as at least one fatality. The violence in the UK and US has led them to demand that the rule of the law be adhered to.

Image: In Peshawar, a police officer uses tear gas to disperse Mr Khan’s supporters. Photo: AP

Since last year, Mr Khan and the Pakistani military intelligence complex have been locked in a verbal and political war. This latter group is often seen as the true power behind Pakistani politicians.

It is believed that he was elected in 2018 with the support of the military, but he fell out with them and was removed in an April no-confidence vote. Since then, he has been a fierce critic of the military and the government. He demanded snap elections and accused them of being scared.

The Government is made up of members from the most powerful families in Pakistan, whose names are well-known to UK citizens.

Image: An A Khan Supporter Throws Stones Using a Slingshot Towards Police Officers in Peshawar

Bilal Bhutto-Zardari, the Oxford-educated Foreign Minister and son of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto (who was assassinated) and former President Asif Ali Zardari.

Shehbaz is the brother of three-times elected former Prime Minister Nawaz.

Critics claim that politicians, generals, and spooks have been responsible for the corrupt division of power which has left millions of Pakistanis in poverty.

Read more

Imran’s journey as a playboy to Prime Minister

Khan charged with terrorism by the police

Pakistan Police fired shots and threw petrol bombs at them

Image: Imran Khan, former Pakistani Prime Minister gestures during a video before his arrest

Pakistan is suffering from the same economic hardships that are affecting other Asian nations. Political instability and unrest come at a time when economic hardship and crisis are likely to exacerbate tensions.

Pakistan and the UK have strong economic, diplomatic, trade, immigration, and other ties.

Over a million-and-a-half people in Britain are Pakistani. The UK government is concerned about an unstable Pakistan, hence its calls for calm.

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Khan lawyer claims arrest was a’state abduction

Pakistan is a country with nuclear weapons and has strong security ties to the UK.

Allies of the United States will also be keeping a close eye on this situation, hoping that it passes quickly.

Western capitals will be concerned by Mr Khan’s popularity and his direct challenge of Pakistan’s corrupt political structures.

A major showdown between Mr Khan’s supporters and the ruling elites of the country seems inevitable.

Western governments will urge the Chinese to be extremely cautious.


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