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“Pakistan’s Turbulent Politics Take a Turn

Pakistan’s politics have taken a dramatic turn with the police clashing with supporters of ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan in major cities across the country. The clashes resulted in the injury of about a dozen police and 35 of Mr. Khan’s supporters as they attempted to arrest him for failing to appear in court on graft charges. The police operation was reportedly ordered by a court and aimed to serve Mr. Khan with a warrant to appear in court later this week.

Mr. Khan, 71, has been avoiding appearances before the court since November, citing medical reasons. His legal team has also filed a request to have the warrants against him suspended. However, the government has been insistent on arresting him, claiming that he needs to face the law for his alleged crimes.

The clashes come as Pakistan is struggling to negotiate a bailout from the International Monetary Fund to avoid a default. The country has been embroiled in a deepening economic crisis, and the government’s efforts to address this crisis have been met with opposition from Mr. Khan’s party.

The police action has been seen as a show of force by the government, which is trying to assert its authority in the face of growing opposition to Mr. Khan’s party. The government has been accused of trying to disrupt law and order and has called for talks with police to resolve the situation.

Prime Minister Imran Khan (Via Imran Khan/Twitter)

Mr. Khan has claimed that the cases against him are a plot by the government to discredit him, and he has urged his followers to continue fighting if he is arrested. He tweeted, “They think this nation will fall asleep when Imran Khan is jailed. You need to prove them wrong.”

The clashes have also put a spotlight on the country’s gifts ban, which was announced on Tuesday. The ban sets a limit of $300 in value for gifts received by officials and requires them to deposit any gifts exceeding that amount with the state repository within a month. The government has also announced a public list of gifts given to officials from past administrations, marking a major U-turn from previous administrations’ secrecy around gifts.

The government’s move to clarify the laws and make information about gifts public comes amid growing opposition to Mr. Khan’s party and demands for accountability and transparency from citizens. The country’s citizens are demanding that their leaders be held accountable for their actions, and the government’s efforts to address these demands will be closely watched.

In the end, the clashes highlight the deep-seated divisions in Pakistani politics and the challenges that the country faces in addressing its economic crisis and governance issues. As the country navigates these tumultuous times, it remains to be seen how the government will respond to the opposition’s demands and whether it will be able to restore stability and calm to the country.

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