Pakistan’s government called out the military Wednesday in areas roiled by deadly violence following the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was dragged from a courtroom and ordered held for another eight days on new corruption charges that outraged his supporters and deepened the country’s political turmoil.
In an address to the nation, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif said the unrest by Khan’s supporters “damaged sensitive public and private property,” forcing him to deploy the military in the capital of Islamabad, the most populous province of Punjab and in volatile regions of the northwest.
After Khan was arrested Tuesday, crowds in Islamabad and other major cities blocked roads, clashed with police, and set fire to police checkpoints and military facilities in violence that left six people dead and hundreds arrested. On Wednesday, protesters stormed a radio station in the northwestern city of Peshawar.
“Such scenes were never seen by the people of Pakistan,” Sharif said, following a Cabinet meeting. “Even patients were taken out of ambulances and ambulances were set on fire.”
Calling such attacks “unforgivable,” he warned that those involved in violence would be given exemplary punishment.
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