Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Authorities ban Imran Khan rally in Islamabad and crack down on supporters

People cross a bridge on Ravi River which is closed for traffic due to shipping containers placed by authorities in an attempt to foil a planned protest of Pakistan’s main opposition party (AP)
People cross a bridge on Ravi River which is closed for traffic due to shipping containers placed by authorities in an attempt to foil a planned protest of Pakistan’s main opposition party (AP)

Pakistan has banned ousted prime minister Imran Khan from holding a rally in the capital of Islamabad and cracked down on his supporters in overnight raids across the country, arresting hundreds.

The ban came hours after a policeman was killed during one of the raids, when a supporter of the former premier opened fire after officers entered his home in the city of Lahore.

Interior minister Rana Sanaullah warned Mr Khan that he would “not be allowed to disrupt peace in Islamabad” and would be arrested if necessary, should the rally go ahead.

Mr Sanaullah earlier in the day accused Mr Khan of seeking to create a civil war-like situation.

A blocked roadway
Shipping containers placed by authorities block a road leading to government buildings in a bid to foil the rally (AP)

A former cricket star turned Islamist politician, Mr Khan served as prime minister for over three and half years until he was ousted by a no-confidence vote in parliament in April.

Mr Khan has remained defiant, demanding early elections and claiming his removal was the result of a US-organised plot in collusion with his successor, Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

Washington has denied any role in Pakistan’s internal politics.

Earlier this week, Mr Khan urged supporters to converge on Islamabad on Wednesday for a massive rally to pressurise Mr Sharif’s government.

The demonstration, he said, would continue until a date for snap elections was announced.

Mr Sanaullah, the interior minister, said the decision to ban the rally was taken after Mr Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf party failed to assure the administration in writing that the rally would be peaceful.

Blocked roads
Mr Khan has been banned from holding a massive rally in the capital and authorities have cracked down on his supporters (AP)

Earlier on Tuesday, authorities stepped up security in Islamabad, deploying additional officers and paramilitary rangers.

Large shipping containers were placed on a key road leading to the parliament building, to prevent Mr Khan’s supporters from getting close and possibly staging a sit-in there.

According to Fawad Chaudhry, a spokesman for the Tehreek-e-Insaf party, police raids against their supporters started shortly after midnight on Monday.

Homes were still being raided on Tuesday morning and at least 400 supporters of the party were arrested across the country, Chaudhry said. Khan condemned the arrests on Twitter.

Authorities confirmed the raids but refused to share details about any arrests.

At a news conference in the north-western city of Peshawar on Tuesday, Mr Khan vowed to carry on with the rally in the Pakistani capital as planned.

“I tell my supporters to reach Islamabad and I will also be there,” he said, insisting he was not afraid of death and urging his followers to “get ready for sacrifices” for the sake of Pakistan’s sovereignty.

Several other prominent figures from Mr Khan’s party warned police they could face violent resistance if raids on their homes continued.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]