(MANEND NEWS): Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan has called for nationwide “freedom” protests on Sunday after his brief arrest and detention last week triggered deadly unrest.
The one-time cricket superstar – who has been tied up in dozens of legal cases since being ousted from power in April 2022 – was freed on bail on Friday after his detention was declared unlawful by the supreme court.
Enraged by the arrest, supporters set fire to government buildings, blocked roads and damaged property belonging to the military, which they blame for Khan’s downfall.
“Freedom does not come easily. You have to snatch it. You have to sacrifice for it,” he said on YouTube on Saturday night.
He called for his supporters to hold protests “at the end of your streets and villages” across the country on Sunday, and announced a return to campaigning on Wednesday for immediate elections.
For months the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party leader has waged a campaign of defiance against the military.
His arrest on Tuesday came just hours after he was rebuked for claiming senior officials were involved in an assassination attempt against him in 2022.
Pakistan’s powerful military has directly ruled the country off and on for nearly half of its 75-year history, and continues to wield power over the political system.