Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan was released on bail on Friday evening. On Saturday, the authorities somewhat eased the blocking of social media, but it is documented that even the Prime Minister must use a VPN to use Twitter.
Tuesday’s arrest of the cricket legend sparked violent demonstrations in nuclear power Pakistan. Dozens of people have been killed, even more injured and the material destruction will cost the country enormous sums.
The court also ordered the corruption police not to arrest the former cricket star during the two-week bail period, according to Khan’s lawyer Faisal Chaudhry.
The day before, the Supreme Court ruled that the arrest and detention of Khan on Tuesday was illegal. The imprisonment has triggered violent protests in several places in Pakistan and claimed dozens of lives. The violence has caused concern for the stability of the nuclear power, which has already been hit hard by the economic crisis, record high inflation and weak growth. (NTB)
The Pakistani authorities announced on Friday that they would ease the blockade of social media, but a violent upsurge of Pakistani hashtags, among others from the Netherlands, suggests that the easing is not real, implying that even the prime minister, presumably, must use a VPN.
Twitter & YouTube still blocked in Pakistan as mobile internet access is restored after 4 days.
Most people accessing Twitter through a VPN, presumably the Prime Minister of the country as well.
Meanwhile, Pakistani hashtags are trending in the Netherlands as VPN use skyrockets.
— Usama Khilji (@UsamaKhilji) May 13, 2023
After the release was confirmed, Imran Khan vowed to maintain good relations with the country’s army chief, General Asim Munir, “as soon as he comes back to power”.
Addressing a press conference at the Islamabad High Court (IHC), Imran Khan said that he has never made any disparaging comments about COAS General Asim Munir. He vowed to maintain a good relationship with the army chief, after coming to power. The former prime minister claimed that the army chief had been misinformed about him by others. He also said that he had already sent the army chief a message, according to ARY News. (ANI)
Khan also warned of the consequences if the country’s current authorities did not change course:
He added that he had warned the government not to lead the country towards ‘anarchy’. – I warned that if Pakistan becomes Sri Lanka, it will go out of everyone’s hands, Khan said, Ary News reported. (ANI)
The national debt is increasing
The reference to Sri Lanka is particularly relevant in that it came at about the same time as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is asking Pakistan to secure eight billion dollars in new foreign loans so that the country can get the IMF’s postponement of its debt repayments for the rest of the calendar year.
In yet another turn that has further eroded chances for revival of the $6.5 billion bailout package, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has asked Pakistan to now arrange $8 billion in fresh loans to back the external debt repayments during the next seven months. (Express Tribune)