Pakistan considering ban on Imran Khan’s PTI: Defense minister

Islamabad: Pakistan is considering banning former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said. The move comes days amid political instability in the nuclear-armed nation caused by Khan’s arrest on May 9 on corruption charges, before he was released on bail on court orders.

The embattled Khan, who says corruption charges have been concocted, is embroiled in a confrontation with the powerful military, which has ruled Pakistan directly or overseen civilian governments throughout its history.

“It is under consideration to ban PTI,” Asif told reporters. “The PTI has attacked very basis of the state, that never happened before. It can’t be tolerated”.

Meanwhile, the police in Lahore have sent the names of 746 PTI leaders to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to impose a restriction on their foreign travel for a month.

The Punjab government has also decided to expedite legal proceedings against those involved in riots and arson, Dawn reported.

Khan’s arrest sparked deadly protests across the country, with army establishments being attacked and state buildings set ablaze. Police have arrested more than 7,500 PTI members and supporters since Khan’s arrest on May 9 triggered deadly riots and attacks on Pakistani military installations.

Former Pakistan Minister Qureshi arrested again

Shah Mahmood Qureshi, former foreign minister and vice-chairman of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party was arrested again on Tuesday, moments after being released from a prison in Rawalpindi on the orders of a top court.

Qureshi, 66, served as Pakistan’s foreign affairs minister from 2018 to 2022 under Khan’s regime.

The Islamabad high court ordered Qureshi’s release after he submitted an undertaking affirming that he would abstain from creating agitation and inciting workers, according to Geo TV.

However, moments after his release from Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail, the Punjab police re-arrested the former minister, the report said.

Qureshi was among the top Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders arrested after violent protests erupted following Khan’s arrest on May 9.

Top PTI leader to quit

Senior PTI leader Shireen Mazari has decided to quit the Imran Khan-led party, local media reported. The development came as Mazari had been arrested several times during the past few days following the May 9 riots triggered by the arrest of the former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in the Al-Qadir Trust case, The News reported.

Earlier, she was re-arrested once again after a court in Gujarat city in Pakistan’s Punjab province approved her bail in a case related to the vandalism and attacks on defense and public installations including Lahore Corps Commander House and General Headquarters (GHQ) during the violent protests, The News reported.

PTI chief Khan claimed that members of his party were being forced to leave the party at “gunpoint”.

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