Tense mood grips Pakistan ahead of former PM’s hearing

Pakistan remains on edge ahead of former prime minister Imran Khan’s hearing on corruption charges, a day after his dramatic arrest.

Local media have reported at least two deaths amid demonstrations in Pakistan. Protests have also erupted globally.

Amid the chaos, police said Mr Khan’s hearing on Wednesday would be moved to the location where he is under custody.

Police have carried out raids and arrested supporters of Mr Khan’s party in the hours since his arrest.

The former international cricket star is facing dozens of charges relating to corruption and sedition, which he says are politically motivated.

Pictures early on Wednesday local time showed lines of officers forming in front of a police building in the capital Islamabad. A police guest house has been declared a “courtroom” for the hearing, a police official told BBC Urdu.

Other photos show scores of vehicles badly burned in Pakistan’s largest city Karachi, after overnight protests.

Mobile internet services remain inaccessible across the country. Pakistan’s telecommunication authorities said they had suspended services on instructions from the interior ministry.

Schools also remain closed, some highways have been blocked and there is little traffic plying roads in major cities.

Mr Khan’s supporters have also taken to the streets in the UK, US and Canada, among other countries, following his detention.

Protests are expected to continue on Wednesday, with some demonstrators planning to march to Islamabad.

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