Police ban gatherings outside Nawaz Sharif's London home following arrest of Imran Khan

Rival former prime minister owns four apartments in a building in exclusive Mayfair area

A crowd protests against the arrest of former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan outside Avenfield House in London. Bloomberg
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Police have banned gatherings outside the London home of former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif after supporters of Imran Khan gathered there to protest against his arrest.

Dozens protested outside Avenfield House close to Hyde Park in Mayfair, some of them wearing masks of Mr Khan, who was toppled as Pakistan's prime minister last year.

In footage of the protest, a police van can be seen, with officers stationed outside the gates of the building where Mr Sharif, a political rival of Mr Khan, owns four apartments.

The Metropolitan Police told The National that gatherings were banned outside the building until 10.39pm on Thursday.

“A section 35 dispersal order has been put in to cover the Dunraven Street and Lowndes Square areas of Westminster," it said.

The street has become a focus for protesters in recent months, with supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the party Mr Khan founded in 1996, gathering regularly to complain about his treatment.

In 2017, the supreme court disqualified Mr Sharif from holding political office for a decade because of his involvement in a corruption case.

The four apartments he owns on Dunraven Street face Park Lane, the second most expensive road on London’s Monopoly board.

Local councillor Paul Fisher campaigned to end the protests on the street.

The Labour Party councillor was quoted by Pakistan’s Geo TV as saying: “I would welcome the use of dispersal orders on Dunraven Street.

“The qualified rights of protesters must be balanced against the right of residents to live free from the disruption of the kind seen on Dunraven Street, which can feel very intimidating.

"I will keep campaigning for a permanent solution for the residents of this street who have put up with far too much over many years.”

In Pakistan, soldiers are on the streets to contain protests against Mr Khan’s arrest.

At least three party leaders have been detained so far, one outside the Supreme Court late on Wednesday and another, a foreign minister in Mr Khan's cabinet, early on Thursday.

Mobile data services in the country have been suspended and schools and offices closed in two of Pakistan's four provinces.

Protesters have stormed military buildings, ransacked the residence of an army general in the eastern city of Lahore and set ablaze state buildings and assets in other places since Mr Khan's arrest by Pakistan's anti-corruption agency on Tuesday.

Updated: May 11, 2023, 9:15 AM