Pakistani PM’s arrest orders ‘shocks the country

Pakistan’s PM arrest orders ‘shocks the country

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan was plunged deeper into political turmoil today as the country’s Supreme Court ordered the arrest of its Prime Minister on charges of corruption involving private power stations. Raja Pervaiz Ashraf is accused of receiving kickbacks in the rental power projects and of buying property in London with money earned through various shady deals.He is alleged to have committed the crimes during his reign as minister for water and power before he became the country’s premier.The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. The prime minister’s adviser, Fawad Chaudhry, condemned the court’s order, calling it unconstitutional.The announcement comes as thousands of supporters of a fiery Pakistani cleric who has been calling for election reforms descended onto capital Islamabad, as security officials girded for mass rallies by a movement that has virtually overnight become a powerful but still mysterious force on the political scene.The dramatic entry into Pakistani politics of Tahir-ul-Qadri, a preacher who until recently lived abroad in Canada and had only a modest local following, has galvanized supporters looking for reforms but worried detractors who fear he’ll derail upcoming elections.-DM

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