The former cricket star is embroiled in the latest, critical phase of a decades-old rivalry between civilian politicians and the powerful military, which has ruled directly or overseen governments throughout Pakistan’s history, Reuters wrote.
The face-off has brought widespread protests by Khan’s supporters, raising new fears about the stability of the nuclear-armed country as it struggles with its worst economic crisis in decades.
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif told reporters that Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party had attacked the “very basis of state”, which could not be tolerated.
“It is under consideration to ban PTI,” he said, adding the parliament would have to give final approval for a government decision to ban the party.
The minister referred to Khan’s protesting supporters who this month attacked military installations including army headquarters and government buildings.
Khan, or a PTI spokesperson, was not immediately available for comment.
Khan became prime minister in 2018 with the tacit support of the military, though both sides denied it at the time. The military saw Khan, with his conservative, nationalist agenda, as likely to ensure the protection of its interests.
But Khan later fell out with the generals after being seen as having tried to interfere in key promotions in the security sphere, and he was ousted as prime minister after losing a confidence vote in 2022.
Khan, 70, has since then been campaigning for a snap general election, rallying supporters across the country, but the prime minister who replaced him, Shahbaz Sharif, has rejected the call for an election before one is due late this year.
Khan is also facing corruption charges that he has dismissed as being cooked in a bid to banish him from politics.