Empire strikes back? Crackdown on Imran Khan’s supporters, party leaders is foreboding sign
The battle lines had long been drawn. Now the fight has reached a critical stage. The May 9 attacks on military installations in some cities seem to be a turning point. Enraged Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf supporters directly took on the security establishment. Former prime minister Imran Khan has lashed out at the army chief, thus crossing the Rubicon.
Now the empire has struck back. Thousands of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leaders and supporters have been arrested in a countrywide crackdown. Some of them could face trial under the Army Act. The creeping shadow of army rule is becoming more pronounced.
However, the battle between Imran Khan and the security establishment is only one part of the game of thrones. The other part features the ruling coalition which is up in arms against the top judiciary and is vowing to remove the chief justice, who they allege is favouring the former prime minister. The court’s order to release Khan within a day of his arrest and provide him with protection from further action has intensified the conflict. Parliament has passed a resolution calling to file a reference against the top judge.
The ruling coalition has also decided to demonstrate its street power. Thousands of opposition supporters this week gathered outside the Supreme…