On 3 November, Imran Khan, former Prime Minister and opposition leader, was shot in the leg at a protest rally. A person was killed and at least 10 others were injured in the attack. Police arrested the gunman at the scene and are investigating the case as a lone shooter, but Khan has accused the current government of conspiring to assassinate him. Khan has been leading a nationwide protest against the government, calling for early elections. He announced that his party, Tehreek-e-Insaf, will quit all regional and national assemblies. His protest movement has further polarized the Pakistani electorate and added to the country's political instability at a time of ecological and economic crisis.
Pakistan's election commission disqualified former prime minister Imran Khan from holding public office on 21 October following accusations that he incorrectly declared his assets and illegally sold state gifts. Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party alleges the decision is politically motivated and will challenge it in Islamabad's high court. Mr Khan called on his supporters to protest the decision outside of Islamabad, although these came to a halt when police began firing tear gas to disperse crowds. The decision is expected to escalate political tensions amid Khan's long-promised march to Islamabad, challenging the government of his successor and calling for snap elections.
Unprecedented monsoon floods have killed at least 1596 people and submerged a third of the country. Beyond climate change, experts indicate that several factors compounded the devastation, pointing to years of delayed action and structural failures of the government in protecting people living in flood-prone areas. Inadequate infrastructure and outdated drainage systems, as well as corruption and improper water management systems, are said to have fuelled the crisis leading to the poorest classes getting hit the hardest. The government is now taking measures to combat the outbreak of water-borne diseases caused by contaminated water sources.
In an escalation of months-long clashes between former Prime Minister Imran Khan and the current government, Khan was charged under Pakistan’s anti-terror law for remarks made at a rally on 20 August against a female judge and police officials. This followed the arrest and alleged torture of his Chief of Staff Shabaz Gill, who remains in police custody on sedition charges. Pakistan’s terrorism laws purposefully contain vague language and have a history of being misused for political gain, ultimately curtailing freedom of speech.