A mass of protesters pushing through the gates of the national army headquarters. An angry mob setting a senior military official’s residence aflame. Demonstrators looting a school run by a paramilitary force.
Once unthinkable, the scenes of violent protest that broke out across Pakistan on Tuesday after the arrest of the former prime minister, Imran Khan, seemed to cross a line against defying the army that has rarely been breached in Pakistan’s turbulent history. Since the country’s founding 75 years ago, the military has kept a steady hold on the country’s politics and foreign policy, carrying out three successful coups and ruling the country directly for several decades.