Pakistanis hold rare protests in Dubai, Doha in support of Imran Khan

Pakistanis hold rare protests in Dubai, Doha in support of Imran Khan
2 min read
Members of the Pakistani community in both the Qatari capital and the UAE's largest city took to the streets in demonstration over the removal of Imran Khan from office.
Khan called on his supporters to protest his removal from office [Anadolu/Getty]

Hundreds of Pakistanis took to the streets in Dubai and Doha to protest the removal of Pakistan’s prime minister from office after he lost the no-confidence vote on Sunday.

Videos circulated on social media showing large numbers of Pakistani nationals, most of whom are migrant workers in the Gulf, protesting in the Emirati and Qatari cities, raising flags and chanting slogans in support of Imran Khan.

Marches took place amid a heavy police presence. Protests are rare in Gulf states, particularly in the UAE, where migrants who stage rallies have previously faced deportation.

Pakistan has good ties with both Gulf states, and the Pakistani community is one of the largest migrant groups in the UAE.

After being voted out by parliament early on Sunday, Khan, who was Pakistan’s prime minister since 2018, called on supporters to take to the streets in protest as the political opposition in Islamabad prepared to install his replacement.

His opponents have blamed him for failing to revive the economy and tackle rampant corruption.

Shehbaz Sharif - brother of disgraced former prime minister Nawaz Sharif - was named Pakistan's new prime minister on Monday. He has a small majority of 174, enough to pass laws in the 342-seat assembly.

Sharif heads the largest party in a diverse alliance of opposition factions that span the spectrum from the left to radically religious.