KNearly three dozen men run through a residential area in Islamabad in the dark, shouting “Long live Imran Khan.” This is how depressed it looks when the former prime minister's party is campaigning in Pakistan. Two years ago, Khan was still in power. Now he is in prison, his party is in ruins. “The police are working against us,” says Shoaib Shaheen.

Friederike Böge

Political correspondent for Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan based in Ankara.

He is Khan's lawyer, party spokesman and candidate in this Thursday's parliamentary elections. The slight lawyer organized the small campaign march in Rawa Town, a residential area in the Pakistani capital. “Whenever we hold an event, the police come and arrest or intimidate our supporters,” he says. “Business people who support us are threatened that their companies will be shut down.” According to Shaheen, all of this is intended to create hopelessness among the supporters of the Movement for Justice (PTI) so that they do not vote in the first place. However, the police are nowhere to be seen that evening.