The massive protests in Pakistan by supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan over his arrest in a corruption case have led to widespread destruction of properties.
The office of Pakistan’s national radio broadcaster has also been set on fire by protesters. Some Twitter users posted videos of a burning building, which they claimed was the Radio Pakistan office in Islamabad.
Imran Khan appeared in court yesterday amid the violent nationwide protests over his arrest.
His arrest has brought tens of thousands of his supporters to the street in cities across Pakistan.
His lawyers said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) – the anti-corruption body which ordered Imran Khan’s arrest – had asked the judge to send the former Prime Minister in custody for 10 days, news agency AFP reported. He was, however, sent to the NAB’s custody for eight days. The next hearing is on May 17.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi, a close aide of ousted prime minister Imran Khan, was arrested by police today.
Imran Khan was arrested during a routine hearing in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad yesterday. He was taken away to an unknown location overnight before appearing behind closed doors in a specially convened court at the police headquarters.
The arrest follows months of political crisis during which Imran Khan, who was ousted in April last year, waged an unprecedented campaign against the country’s powerful military.
The former cricketing superstar, who remains popular in Pakistan, has previously denied all the charges in dozens of cases brought against him.
He says the myriad legal cases are part of an effort by the struggling government and military establishment to prevent him from returning to power.
Mr Khan’s arrest also came hours after the military rebuked him for alleging that a senior officer had been involved in a plot to kill him.
Pakistan politicians have frequently been arrested and jailed since the country’s founding in 1947, but few have so directly challenged a military that has staged at least three coups and had ruled for more than three decades.
Pakistan’s interior ministry has ordered mobile internet services cut and restricted access to social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
The authorities have ordered schools closed across the country – with end-of-year exams cancelled for students.
Hundreds of police officers have been injured across the country, while in Pakistan’s most populous province of Punjab, nearly 1,000 people have been arrested and the army ordered to deploy to keep peace.