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Pakistan govt imposes 7-day prohibitory order ahead of protest by Imran Khan’s party seeking his release

Khan, a cricketer-turned-politician has been in jail since August last year after being convicted in some of the nearly 200 cases slapped on him since his ouster from power in April 2022.
Last Updated : 21 June 2024, 14:00 IST

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Islamabad: Pakistan's Punjab government on Friday imposed prohibitory orders across the province for seven days, citing the planned nationwide protest by supporters of Imran Khan seeking the release of the jailed former prime minister.

The imposition of Section 144 across the province, thereby banning protests and public gatherings, came into immediate effect as the party workers planned to demonstrate demanding the release of the 71-year-old founder of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.

Khan, a cricketer-turned-politician has been in jail since August last year after being convicted in some of the nearly 200 cases slapped on him since his ouster from power in April 2022.

The Dawn newspaper reported that the Home Department of Punjab province has issued an order to impose Section 144 with immediate effect and it will be in place for seven days.

Meanwhile, Khan said on Friday that any negotiations with the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) could result in the downfall of the current government.

The Express Tribune newspaper said that Khan, during an informal media chat at the hearing of the 190 million pounds corruption case, expressed his desire to negotiate for Pakistan's benefit and not for personal or governmental interests.

"I want to negotiate for Pakistan, not for myself or the government," he said.

Khan reiterated his willingness to step back if it benefits the country, saying, "Convince me it benefits the country, and I will step back." He criticised the current government for not reducing expenses and failing to create an investment-friendly environment. "The country is in crisis," he said.

"The government has not reduced its expenses, which is troubling. The current government has failed to create an environment for investment," he said.

The former premier said that Pakistan needs a mandate-driven government for necessary reforms, pointing out that the current budget highlights the limitations of a non-mandated government. He condemned heavy taxation on professionals and the public, predicting severe impacts from the upcoming electricity bills.

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Published 21 June 2024, 14:00 IST

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