May 10, 2023

Staff Report


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

International human rights watchdog Amnesty International South Asia called upon the Pakistani authorities to show restraint amidst reports of violence clashes with PTI supporters.


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