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Former Prime Minister Imran Khan banned from travel DW 26/05/2023

Former Prime Minister Imran Khan banned from travel DW 26/05/2023
Former Prime Minister Imran Khan banned from travel DW 26/05/2023


The Pakistani government has imposed a travel ban on former Prime Minister Imran Khan, officials said on Friday.

His wife, Bushra Bibi, and hundreds of his political aides have also been banned from traveling abroad, officials added.

Khan, 70, was ousted in a no-confidence vote in parliament last year and faces a number of legal challenges. His arrest on May 9 sparked a wave of violent protests in which at least nine people died, which only subsided after he was released on bail by Supreme Court order three days later.

More than 7,000 of his supporters have been arrested in a crackdown over the past two weeks.

Khan reacted to the travel ban with a defiant statement on Twitter, saying he welcomed the decision to put him on the so-called Exit Checklist (ECL) as he did not have the intend to take trips abroad and would prefer to take a vacation in Pakistan anyway. .

During his tenure in power from 2018 to 2022, Khan’s government also imposed travel bans on several opposition leaders.

Accusations of military involvement

Members of Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party blamed his arrest on the military, which Khan has been at odds with for many months.

Many also say the coalition government led by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif stands to gain if Khan is found guilty, as it would bar him from participating in future elections, possibly forever.

A general election is scheduled for this year.

The protests and controversy over Khan come as Pakistan grapples with a long-running economic crisis that has sent food prices soaring.

The country of 231 million people also faces an ongoing threat of attacks by Islamist militants.

Criticisms of trials before military tribunals

The government says those who attacked military installations during protests after Khan’s arrest will face summary trials in Pakistani military courts, a move that has drawn widespread criticism from rights groups local and international.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan said on Friday that at least 33 people had so far been handed over to the army.

Several government ministers have said a ban on Khan’s party is also being considered, which could contribute to further political chaos in the country.

tj/sri (dpa, Reuters)




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