May 10, 2023
The international community expressed grave concern regarding the arrest of Chair of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and former Prime Minister Imran Khan on May 9, and the resultant law and order situation in various parts of the country.
In a joint press conference on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken acknowledged that he had seen reports of Khan’s arrest and stated that whatever happens in Pakistan is in line with the rule of law.
#WATCH | “We just want to make sure that whatever happens in Pakistan is consistent with the rule of law, with the constitution,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a joint news conference in Washington.#ImranKhanArrest pic.twitter.com/LVl0dwtKJR
— ANI (@ANI) May 10, 2023
At the same conference, US Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, James Cleverly told the media that he had yet to have the opportunity to be briefed in detail and was therefore uncomfortable to speculate any further on the situation in Pakistan, but reiterated the US’s wish to see peaceful democracy in Pakistan.
“The UK has a longstanding and close relationship with Pakistan. We are Commonwealth partners. We want to see peaceful democracy in that country. We want to see the rule of law adhered to,” he said.
Retweeting footage of Khan’s arrest by a heavy contingent of Rangers personnel in riot gear on May 9, US Congressman and a senior member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Brad Sherman reiterated that the US is dedicated to democracy and rule of law around the world.
“We stand not with individual politicians but with human rights and free speech,” he quote-tweeted.
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Rishi Sunak stated that while Khan’s arrest is an internal matter for Pakistan, Britain supports peaceful democratic processes and adherence to the rule of law.
In separate tweets, Congressman Sherman stated that he had received reports of the arrests of PTI leaders and workers which he found to be contrary to claims that Khan’s arrest was in connection with a corruption case.
My advisor @DrMahmood40 tells me PTI leaders and workers are being arrested around #Pakistan. This would seem inconsistent with the claim that this is just about a corruption case.
In a democracy, elections are held on time and the winners are allowed to govern. (2/2)
— Congressman Brad Sherman (@BradSherman) May 9, 2023
In an interview with VoA Urdu, he opined that Khan’s arrest appeared to be a military coup rather than an impartial application of justice.
امریکی کانگریس مین بریڈ شرمن نے وی او اے اردو سے بات کرتے ہوئے کہا کہ عمران خان کی گرفتاری بظاہر ایک، ملٹری کو، معلوم ہوتا ہے نہ کہ انصاف کا غیر جانبدارانہ اطلاق#ImranKhan #ImranKhanArrest #Pakistan #BradSherman #USCongressMan pic.twitter.com/nsdnGWLLRa
— VOA Urdu (@voaurdu) May 9, 2023
In a since-deleted tweet, German Ambassador to Pakistan Alfred Grannas stated that the highest standards of rule of law in judicial cases should be ensured.
In a follow-up tweet, he explained that the tweet had been deleted in order to avoid any misinterpretation.
Previous tweet has been deleted to avoid any misinterpretation that we take a side, given the overall escalation in rhetorics. We chose our words carefully and do not condone anyone exploiting that.
— Alfred Grannas (@GermanyinPAK) May 9, 2023
Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Opposition in the British Parliament and Leader of the Labour Party from 2015 to 2020, termed Khan’s arrest a “dark day for democracy” and called for his immediate release.
The arrest of former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, is a dark day for democracy.
Solidarity with protestors in Pakistan and beyond demanding his immediate release. pic.twitter.com/qXgQGjhfe2
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) May 10, 2023
International human rights watchdog Amnesty International South Asia called upon the Pakistani authorities to show restraint amidst reports of violence clashes with PTI supporters.
PAKISTAN: The clashes unfolding between Imran Khan’s supporters and security enforcement following the former prime minister’s arrest risks several human rights violations.
We call upon authorities to show restraint, and ensure any response is in line with the principles of…
— Amnesty International South Asia, Regional Office (@amnestysasia) May 9, 2023