Imran Khan, Pakistan’s Ex-Leader, Is Arrested

He and his supporters have characterized the charges against Mr. Khan as a misuse of the justice system by the government of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and by the military to sideline him from politics. Pakistani political and military leaders have repeatedly denied those claims.

The political tensions surrounding Mr. Khan came to a head in November, when the former prime minister was wounded during a political rally after an unidentified man opened fire on his convoy, in what aides have called an assassination attempt. Since then, Mr. Khan has been mostly ensconced at his residence in Lahore, Pakistan’s second-largest city.

Fawad Chaudhry, a top aide to Mr. Khan, said that the threat to Mr. Khan’s life made court appearances much riskier, adding: “It is not humanly possible to make court appearances in such a vast number of cases.”

The drama surrounding Mr. Khan seems only to have buoyed his popularity, analysts say, underscoring his unique ability to outmaneuver Pakistan’s typical playbook for sidelining political leaders who have fallen out of favor with the country’s powerful military.

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