Huge rallies held in cities across the South Asian country in favour of ex-premier and against “foreign interference”, a day after Khan’s removal in a parliamentary no-trust vote.
Tens of thousands of protesters have rallied across Pakistan while protests also took place in several countries in support of Imran Khan who was ousted in a parliamentary no-trust vote as prime minister even as the political opposition in South Asian country prepared to install Khan’s replacement.
Khan’s supporters marched in cities across Pakistan on Sunday, waving large party flags and vowing support. The youth, who make up the backbone of Khan’s supporters, dominated the crowds.
In the southern Arabian Sea port city of Karachi a massive crowd of Khan’s supporters shouted slogans promising Khan’s return to power.
“No to imported government” said one placard in Karachi as protesters chanted: “Any friend of America is traitor.”
In the capital of Islamabad, the lights from thousands of supporters lit up the night sky as Khan made his way through the crowd atop a brightly coloured truck.
“In a democratic system the final voice will be the voice of the people. And the voice is the people is Imran Khan,” said Ambareen Turk, a local party activist who joined protesters in Islamabad.
A large number of protesters including women and children turned up in northern Peshawar city in solidarity with the ousted prime minister, DAWN newspaper reported.
In eastern Lahore city, crowds chanted slogans against “foreign conspiracy” to overthrow an elected government of Pakistan, The Express Tribune said.
Hundreds of Khan’s supporters held protests in UK, Australia and UAE.
In London, demonstrators converged in Hyde Park and outside former PM Nawaz Sharif’s home and pledged to oppose any “imported” government.
Many protesters said they will not send back remittances until Khan was reinstated as prime minister, the Daily Mail reported.
Khan has called on his supporters to gather after the end of the daily dawn-to-dusk fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.Khan was brought down after a day of drama and often vitriolic remarks. His supporters accused the United States of orchestrating his ouster and his party walked out of Parliament shortly before the vote.
In the end, 174 lawmakers in the 342-seat Parliament voted to depose him, two more than the required simple majority.
Khan’s successor is to be elected and sworn in by Parliament on Monday.
The leading contender is Shahbaz Sharif, the brother of disgraced former PM Nawaz Sharif.
Shahbaz Sharif heads the largest party in a diverse alliance of opposition factions that span the spectrum from the left to religious. Khan’s nominee for prime minister will be his Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.