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    ISPR Declares May 9th as ‘Black Day for Pakistan’ for What the Perennial Foe Failed to Achieve in 75 Years | Exclusive

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    Former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s arrest on Tuesday has led to protests and violence in Pakistan. The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), part of the Pakistan Army, has referred to May 9 as a “black day” in the country’s history due to the organized attacks on Army properties and installations, as well as anti-Army slogans being raised. The ISPR has identified those involved and strict action will be taken. Khan’s supporters have clashed with police across the country in response to his arrest by the anti-graft agency in a separate case related to land fraud. At least five people have died in the violence.

    Mobile data services were shut for a second day on Wednesday, with federal ministers accusing Khan’s supporters of torching several buildings and vehicles. Access to Twitter, YouTube and Facebook was disrupted, and the army was called in to restore order in at least two of Pakistan’s four provinces – Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – where Khan is most popular. Police said they had arrested more than a thousand protesters for violence in Khan’s home province of Punjab.

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    Khan, a cricket hero-turned-politician, was ousted as prime minister in April 2022 in a parliamentary no-confidence vote. He has not slowed his campaign against the ouster even though he was wounded in a November attack on his convoy as he led a protest march to Islamabad calling for snap general elections. The corruption cases are two of more than 100 registered against Khan after he left office. In most of the cases, Khan faces being barred from holding public office if convicted. He is now being held in a police guesthouse in the capital Islamabad.

    The military has denied Khan’s allegations about their involvement in his removal from power last year. The Dawn newspaper noted that public anger is also directed at the military due to the nature and locus of the protests that broke out following Khan’s arrest. The armed forces remain Pakistan’s most powerful institution, having ruled it directly for close to half its 75-year history through three coups. Despite its major influence, it recently said it was no longer interfering in politics.

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