Protests as Pakistan’s ex-premier Khan barred from holding public office

Former cricketer's supporters blocks roads, chant slogans against government, election commission.

Protests as Pakistan’s ex-premier Khan barred from holding public office

Thousands of supporters of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan took to the streets on Friday to protest against his disqualification by the election authority.

Protest rallies started soon after the Election Commission of Pakistan barred Khan from holding public office for concealing gifts and proceeds from their alleged sale while serving as the prime minister.

The complaint was brought forward by the ruling coalition known as the Pakistan Democratic Movement.

Khan's party, the Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), says the decision will be challenged in a high court.

Footages showed demonstrations in the capital Islamabad, the cities of Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Sialkot, Peshawar, Karachi, Quetta and other towns and districts.

Clashes were also reported in Rawalpindi as police dispersed protesters trying to enter Islamabad.

In the northwestern city of Peshawar, Khan's supporters blocked the main motorway, and also set tires on fire to disrupt traffic.

Meanwhile, Khan, who has vowed to hold a "long march" toward Islamabad in a bid to call early elections that are scheduled for October next year, summoned an emergency party meeting to discuss the future course of action.

The former cricketer has staged a series of anti-government rallies since his ouster from power in a no-confidence vote in parliament in April.

This week, he won six of seven National Assembly seats he stood for in by-elections, a vote he called a referendum on his popularity.

Hüseyin Demir

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