On Friday, thousands of supporters of Pakistan’s cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan clashed with police in the capital Islamabad, in a bid to prevent the arrest of their leader. Police used tear gas and baton charges to disperse the crowd, which had gathered outside Khan’s residence in the city.
The clashes came after Khan, who heads the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, called on his supporters to peacefully protest against the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Khan has accused Sharif of rigging last year’s general election and has been leading an anti-government protest since August.
Khan had vowed to risk arrest by marching on Sharif’s residence, but was blocked by police who had sealed off the area and placed barricades around it. His supporters, however, refused to back down, and faced off with police in a bid to allow Khan to march on.
The situation on the ground is still tense, and further clashes are likely. Khan has said that he will not back down from his demand for Sharif’s resignation until an independent inquiry is held into the alleged rigging of the 2013 elections.