All Eyes On Islamabad As Ex-PM Khan Vows to Lead Anti-government March

Today, Wednesday, all eyes are on Islamabad as former Prime Minister Imran Khan prepares for an anti-government march to the capital, despite the federal government prohibiting him from holding the rally and arresting hundreds of his supporters overnight raids across the country.

Khan was removed from office last month after losing his majority in parliament in a vote of no-confidence. Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has refused to recognize Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s new government, alleging that his removal was part of a Washington-backed foreign conspiracy. The allegations have been denied by the United States.

Khan has held public rallies across Pakistan since his ouster, demanding early elections. He announced last Sunday that he would lead a massive rally in the capital and stage a sit-in there until the government set a date for elections. The government has stated that Khan’s march will not be allowed to enter Islamabad because it is intended to spread “chaos and anarchy” in the country.

Khan, on the other hand, has promised to bring “a sea of people” to Islamabad’s D-Chowk to demand new elections.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party said, “The future of Pakistan will be decided by the people of Pakistan, and the people of Pakistan have decided that they will not accept this slavery.”

Police closed off several arteries leading to the capital city with containers and large trucks on Wednesday morning, raising fears of a clash between law enforcement and protesters.

Authorities detained over 1,000 PTI leaders and supporters on Tuesday in a crackdown “designed to derail” Wednesday’s rally, according to the local Dawn newspaper. The Punjab government imposed Section 144, which prohibits large public gatherings, in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad, Karachi, and other major cities across the country, while the Punjab government called in the paramilitary Rangers to maintain law and order.

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