The streets of Pakistan were packed on Tuesday, when hundreds of thousands of demonstrators joined the protest called by Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, a self-proclaimed revolutionary leader. Indeed, it was to be his day of “revolution.”
He likely wasn’t expecting help from the country’s highest court, but in the middle of the march, the news suddenly broke that the court had ordered the arrest of Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on suspicion of corruption and nepotism. The demonstrators cheered wildly when they heard the development.
The order issued by the Islamabad-based court came following hearings in a corruption case in which Ashraf, who has been prime minister since last June, stands accused of having received bribes in connection with an energy project during his stint as minister of water and power from 2008 to 2011. He is said to have purchased property in London with the money he received.
At issue are power stations built by foreign firms that Pakistan would then only have to rent, called “rental power” projects.