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Imran Khan Supporters Set to Begin 'Court Arrest' Drive From Lahore

© AFP 2023 ARIF ALIPakistan’s ousted prime minister Imran Khan (C) arrives at high court to appear before the court for protective bail in two cases in Lahore on February 20, 2023.
Pakistan’s ousted prime minister Imran Khan (C) arrives at high court to appear before the court for protective bail in two cases in Lahore on February 20, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 22.02.2023
Last week, ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan announced his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) "Jail Bharo” (“Court Arrest”) drive.
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has called on his party workers and supporters around the country to court arrest themselves as part of his party's movement, launched on Wednesday across the country.

"Today we start our 'Jail Bharo' (court arrest) campaign for Haqeeqi Azadi (long march) for two main reasons," Imran Khan said on Twitter. "One, it is a peaceful, non-violent protest against the attack on our constitutionally-guaranteed fundamental rights. We are facing sham FIRs and NAB cases, custodial torture, attacks on journalists and social media people."

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief then added that his movement also aims to highlight the current financial situation in Pakistan, for which Khan has largely blamed the current government of Shehbaz Sharif.

Economic Crisis in Pakistan

Pakistan is staring at a sovereign default with less than $3 billion in forex reserves, only enough to sustain less than three weeks of imports.
The Sharif government is currently engaged in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the release of $1.12 billion in fresh funds under a stalled $7 billion economic package.
The IMF bailout is crucial for Pakistan, considering the cash-strapped nation has to pay back $21.95 billion in external borrowings in 2023, as per data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
According to Khan, the worsening economic situation in his country has been "brought on by cabal of crooks who have money-laundered billions in looted wealth and gotten NROs for themselves while crushing the people, especially the poor and middle class, under the burden of spiraling inflation and rising unemployment".
In another video shared on PTI's Twitter handle, Khan, the 1992 Cricket World Cup-winning skipper, urged Pakistani citizens to join members of his party in the protests, as he is fighting for "true freedom."
"Actually, this campaign will take you to a free and happy Pakistan. And this will only happen when the state protects your fundamental rights," Khan said.
He reiterated that a maximum number of people should take part in the "court arrest movement," as the more citizens participate, the more pressure there will be on the authorities to call fresh elections in Pakistan -- Khan's core demand.
The "court arrest" drive is scheduled to kickstart from Punjab province's Lahore city in the afternoon.