As part of the latest crackdown in a standoff with the government and the powerful military, Pakistani authorities have banned the former premier Imran Khan, his wife, and scores of party officials from flying out of the country.
Rana Sanaullah, the interior minister, told reporters on Friday in Islamabad that the government has imposed a temporary ban that might become permanent following an examination into the substance of the cases brought against them.
The South Asian nation has seen its political turmoil intensify after protests were witnessed and Khan’s supporters were arrested this month after a brief arrest of the leader. Infrastructure damage was also reported in the country. The deepening political crisis is unfolding as Pakistan grapples with its worst economic distress in decades with default risks rising amid a stalled loan program with the International Monetary Fund.
Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has been the target of a broad government crackdown over the past few weeks, with several of the party’s key figures currently behind bars and more than two dozen defecting.
According to Khan, more than 10,000 supporters have been detained around the country.
Pakistan is contemplating outlawing his political party as well, The Peninsula reported. 16 people will be turned over to the army for trial on May 25 as part of Pakistan’s military’s plan to try the protestors in military court.
According to Sanaullah, the accused might receive 3 to 14 years in prison under army rules.