By Madiha Afzal
Pakistan’s ongoing political crisis has reached a crescendo this month with former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s arrest and its fallout. The contours of the conflict are clear: it is Khan versus Pakistan’s military establishment. And the gloves are off.
Khan was arrested on May 9 from the premises of the Islamabad High Court, whisked away by dozens of paramilitary troops in riot gear, ostensibly for a corruption case. But the manner and timing of his arrest — coming just after he had doubled down on his allegations that a senior intelligence official was responsible for an assassination attempt against him last November — indicated that the arrest was more about the confrontation between Khan and Pakistan’s military which began last spring with his ouster in a vote of no-confidence.
The arrest set off protests on the same day across Pakistan, some of which turned violent and involved vandalism against military installations. In unprecedented scenes, protesters attacked the gate of the army headquarters in Rawalpindi, the corps commander’s house in Lahore, and other buildings, including the Radio Pakistan offices in Peshawar. At least eight people died in clashes with the police. The…