Amnesty con­demns Pak­istan over crack­down

The Myanmar Times - - World -

AMNESTY In­ter­na­tional has called on Pak­istan to re­lease hun­dreds of op­po­si­tion ac­tivists de­tained be­fore a planned mass protest, as po­lice used tear gas and rub­ber bul­lets overnight to pre­vent demon­stra­tors from en­ter­ing Is­lam­abad.

Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif is un­der grow­ing pres­sure from op­po­si­tion par­ties, mainly Im­ran Khan’s Pak­istan Tehreek-i-In­saf (PTI).

They plan to lock down the cap­i­tal to­mor­row as they call for him to re­sign over his chil­dren’s off­shore bank ac­counts, re­vealed in the Panama Pa­pers leak.

Po­lice have de­tained around 1000 PTI sup­port­ers from across the coun­try af­ter im­pos­ing a ban on all pub­lic gath­er­ings in Is­lam­abad, which was later partly lifted by a court or­der.

The high­way from the north­west­ern city of Pe­shawar to Is­lam­abad has be­come the lat­est flash­point, with au­thor­i­ties us­ing ship­ping con­tain­ers and anti-riot mea­sures to force­fully pre­vent an in­flux of thou­sands of stick-wield­ing op­po­si­tion ac­tivists.

Po­lice stopped the pro­test­ers from

reach­ing the cap­i­tal on Oc­to­ber 31 night, forc­ing them to sleep in the open around 20 kilo­me­tres (12 miles) from the city.

An­a­lysts be­lieve the role of the allpow­er­ful army will be key in de­ter­min­ing the out­come of the on­go­ing con­fronta­tion.

Mr Sharif may need to strike a deal with them that would leave him weak­ened in or­der to en­sure his sur­vival.

Photo: AFP

Lead­ers of the Pak­istan Tehreek-i-In­saf (PTI) party Shah Mehmood Qureshi (left) and Asad Umar (right) leave the Supreme Court build­ing dur­ing a break in the case.

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