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Dozens detained as Pakistan police halt rally for jailed ex-PM Imran

Published : Tuesday, 30 January, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 109

Dozens detained as Pakistan police halt rally for jailed ex-PM Imran

Dozens detained as Pakistan police halt rally for jailed ex-PM Imran

KARACHI, Jan 29:  Pakistani police detained at least two dozen supporters of jailed former prime minister Imran Khan Sunday as they tried to rally in the countrys biggest city ahead of elections next month.

Khans Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party has been severely hamstrung ahead of the February 8 poll, with rallies banned, its party symbol taken away, and dozens of its candidates rejected from eligibility to stand.

Rights groups have warned the national and provincial elections lack credibility, with the powerful military accused of trying to influence the vote.

On Sunday, PTI officials urged supporters to rally across the country despite police withdrawing or declining permission for the gatherings to take place.

Around 2,000 gathered in Karachi, the bustling southern port city of over 20 million people on the Arabian Sea, where AFP correspondents saw about two dozen PTI supporters detained by police and taken away in trucks.

PTI media advisor Zulfiqar Bukhari said there had also been arrests in Rawalpindi -- the sprawling garrison city neighbouring the capital, Islamabad -- as well as in other parts of Punjab, the countrys most populous province.

Police officials said they had no information on arrests. The election has largely been a lacklustre affair so far, with few mass rallies -- a combination of party inaction, voter apathy, and the cold winter weather.    —AFP

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