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Pakistani police use tear fuel to disperse pre-election rally by supporters of former chief Khan

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KARACHI, Pakistan — Pakistani police fired tear fuel to disperse supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan within the southern metropolis of Karachi on Sunday, lower than two weeks earlier than a nationwide parliamentary election that Khan was blocked from working in due to a legal conviction.

An Related Press reporter on the scene noticed between 20 and 30 individuals getting arrested on the rally. A dozen employees from Khan’s political get together had been arrested for attacking officers and blocking the highway, police stated.

Though Khan is not going to be on the poll for the Feb. 8 election, he stays a potent political power due to his grassroots following and anti-establishment rhetoric. He says the authorized {cases} towards him had been a plot to sideline him forward of the vote.

Senior police superintendent Sajid Siddozai stated employees from Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, or PTI get together organized the rally with out acquiring permission from authorities and blocked the highway. Siddozai confirmed the usage of tear fuel.

“When police officers tried to barter and persuade them to not block the highway, they attacked the police,” he stated. “This resulted in accidents to 5 police officers, together with a feminine officer. One of many wounded is in a vital situation.”

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The police operation was ongoing, Siddozai added.

PTI employee Waheedullah Shah stated Khan had known as for rallies throughout the nation and that Sunday’s occasion in Karachi was peaceable. “However police dispersed our rally and arrested our employees,” Shah stated. “We is not going to be deterred by such techniques. We stand by Khan and can all the time assist him.”

There have been violent demonstrations after Khan’s Might 2023 arrest. Authorities have cracked down on his supporters and get together since then.

Pakistan’s impartial human rights fee has stated there’s little probability of a free and truthful parliamentary election subsequent month due to “pre-poll rigging.” It additionally expressed concern about authorities rejecting the candidacies of Khan and senior figures from his get together.

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