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After arresting Sheikh Rashid, Pakistan government threatens to jail Imran Khan 

Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan

The Pakistan government has made it clear that it will arrest former prime minister Imran Khan if he initiates the Jail Bharo agitation. Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said the government was ready to arrest the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader if his party initiates the Jail Bharo protest.

The warning to Khan follows arrest of Sheikh Rashid, a former interior minister and Khan’s top ally.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and Senior Vice President, Maryam Nawaz Sharif hitting out at Imran Khan said that he had been running a Jail Bharo movement against the opposition for four years during his tenure as prime minister. Recounting the people Imran Khan had put under arrest, Maryam said her father Nawaz Sharif, uncle Shehbaz Sharif, cousin Hamza Shehbaz, senior party leaders Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Rana Sanaullah, Ahsan Iqbal and others had been jailed by the former prime minister.

The two ruling party leaders were responding to the PTI leader’s threat to reignite his agitation against the Shehbaz Sharif government by filling up the country’s jails with his grassroots supporters.

The Shehbaz Sharif government has already arrested a number of politicians close to Imran Khan. These include former interior minister Sheikh Rasheed and Senior Vice-President Fawad Chaudhry. The government has also filed sedition cases against former member of National Assembly Shandana Gulzar, Senator Azam Swati and Shahbaz Gill.

On Saturday the deposed prime minister, who enjoys mass popularity, had exhorted his supporters to start a Jail Bharo agitation in a televised address. He also said that he does not fear death because he has seen it at close quarters, referring to the shoot out that had injured him last year during his rally.

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