Pakistan’s Ex-PM Khan Remanded in Custody for 8 Days Amid Deadly Protests

A special anti-graft court in Pakistan on Wednesday remanded former Prime Minister Imran Khan in custody for eight days while another indicted him on separate corruption charges amid nationwide protests and deadly clashes between his supporters and riot police.

Khan appeared before the two tribunals set up overnight inside the high-security police headquarters in Islamabad one day after his dramatic arrest and detention by paramilitary troops outside a courtroom elsewhere in the capital.

The 70-year-old opposition leader was arrested Tuesday as he prepared to attend a hearing on the dozens of charges against him, ranging from alleged terrorism and corruption to treason and other criminal offenses.

Khan told judges Wednesday that security forces had physically assaulted him before arresting him and dragging him from the court building, defense attorneys said.

The arrest of the cricket star-turned-popular prime minister has sparked massive and violent protests in Islamabad and other cities by supporters of Khan’s political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, or PTI.

The clashes with police continued Wednesday, leaving several people dead and many more injured. PTI said dozens of its workers had been killed.

VOA could not independently verify PTI’s claims. Authorities did not discuss the number of casualties.

Police rounded up hundreds of PTI workers, including senior leaders, in a nationwide crackdown.

Protesters, including men and women, directed their rage mainly at the powerful military that the former prime minister persistently accused of orchestrating his ouster from office last year and later instituting “baseless and frivolous” court cases against him.