Unprecedented clashes between Pakistani citizens, military following ex-PM arrest

By May 11, 2023

Pakistan (MNN) — It’s been two days since Pakistan’s ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan was arrested on corruption charges, and protestors have flooded the streets. Over 1,000 people have been jailed in clashes with military and police. A judge ruled Khan will be held for eight days of questioning.

FMI’s Nehemiah* says this is an unprecedented moment in Pakistan.

“Most importantly, which is more important than even Mr. Khan’s arrest,…we have never ever seen the Pakistani people…go face-to-face with the military, with the army. That is the very, very first time. We have never seen something like this in 70 years of Pakistan’s history.”

Since Pakistan’s establishment in 1947, the nation spent more than three cumulative decades under martial law.

Pakistan flag (Photo courtesy of Abuzar Xheikh/Unsplash)

Now, with people revolting and the military clamping down, Nehemiah speculates, “I think we are moving towards another martial law in Pakistan or maybe official emergency is going to be declared in Pakistan very soon after this situation.

“People have entered into the buildings of military establishments — that we have never ever seen before…. A very strange thing is that when people were entering into these buildings, there was no such security. There was no one there who can stop them. It looks like that is a trap that people may enter so they have a reason to impose Sharia law or impose an emergency so a military establishment can come officially and take over Pakistan.”

Khan, a former cricket star turned philanthropist and politician, founded the political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in 1996. Eventually, Khan became the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan in 2018.

However, Khan’s administration was marked by economic struggles and waning military support for his leadership. He was ousted in April 2022 after losing a no-confidence vote in parliament.

Amidst clashes between Khan supporters and police, the streets in many provinces have become dangerous and impassable.

Nehemiah says, “I was talking to one of the brothers in Pakistan because roads are blocked, there is nowhere to go, and he is still about 200 miles away from his home. He doesn’t know how to reach his home. So this is a difficult situation.”

(Photo courtesy of FMI)

Meanwhile, Pakistani Christians are heartbroken for their Muslim neighbors who feel let down by police and politics and have no hope.

“We have an opportunity and room to share the Word of God with people, although this is a chaotic and difficult situation right now in Pakistan. But still, when there is no hope, we have only one hope in God, and that is Jesus.”

Pray for Gospel opportunities in Pakistan. Also, Nehemiah says, “Today, I want to request pray for Pakistan at-large, not only Christians in Pakistan but for peace in Pakistan and stability in Pakistan.”

Learn more about FMI’s ministry.







*Name withheld for security.

Header photo of Imran Khan, former PM of Pakistan. (Photo courtesy of Financial Times/Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/51005181@N05/8414079377)

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