Former PM Imran Khan summoned over attacks on Pakistan military buildings

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Imran Khan has been summoned by Pakistan authorities to face questioning over the outbreak of violence that followed his brief detention earlier this month in which military buildings were attacked, as pressure mounts against the former premier amid a crackdown on his party and supporters.

The probe focuses on an attack on the Lahore Corps Commander’s house in central Punjab province, known as Jinnah House, a historical building and military residence that was set alight and damaged in the unrest that broke out after Khan’s arrest on corruption charges.


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The 70-year-old politician was issued with a notice from Lahore’s deputy inspector general of police, requiring him to attend questioning at 4 p.m. local time on Tuesday, according to Dawn news. There was no immediate comment from the 70-year-old politician and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party.

Khan is under attack from all sides over claims his supporters were responsible for damaging military and state property. The army has said those responsible will be tried under military law, as the political crisis engulfing Khan, the government and the powerful military continues to escalate even as the country’s economic situation deteriorates.

Khan has condemned the Jinnah House assault, saying it brought ‘disgrace’ to the country, and has denied his party workers were responsible for the May 9 violence. The former cricket star has also called for immediate talks with the government, which the ruling coalition has yet to agree to.

He’s facing increasing challenges as his party’s senior leaders quit in droves, thousands of his supporters have been detained around the country, and he continues to battle dozens of legal cases — all of which he denies.

Pakistan’s powerful military in a statement has indirectly accused Khan of attempting to drive a wedge between Pakistan’s citizens and the armed forces with his rallies and comments.

“The nexus between the internal collusive elements and external forces to create instability has amply been exposed to the people of Pakistan,” the Chief of Army Staff, General Syed Asim Munir, said during a visit to the Quetta Garrison, according to the military’s media wing.

Khan in the past has accused certain senior army officials of orchestrating his removal from power more than a year ago and being behind an alleged assassination attempt, which they have denied. Pakistan has been directly ruled by the army for almost half of its modern history and most prime ministers, including Khan, have depended on the institution’s support to stay in power.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also weighed in against Khan with a late night Twitter post. “The terrible events of May 9 alone have cost the economy billions of rupees & are an irrefutable endorsement of his nefarious designs,” he said. “He also conveniently forgets his own role in deepening economic chal-lenges.”

Pakistan’s economy remains in deep distress, the latest data showed growth slowing sharply to one of the lowest levels in its history, amid record inflation and interest rates, as the country struggles to revive a stalled International Monetary Fund bailout.

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