Aletho News


Former Pakistani PM detained

The Cradle | May 9, 2023

Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan has been arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from the Islamabad High Court (IHC), Geo News reported on 9 May.

Khan was taken into custody by security personnel known as “Rangers” outside the IHC where he had gone to seek bail as a result of graft charges.

According to Fawad Chaudhry, the official spokesperson of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf party (PTI), the ex-prime minister has been “abducted from court premises. Scores of lawyers and general people have been tortured.”

Khan was arrested in connection with the allegations that Bahria Town allotted land worth 530 million rupees to the Al-Qadir Trust, owned by the PTI chairman and his wife, according to Islamabad police.

“Khan has been whisked away by unknown people to an unknown location,” Chaudhry said.

According to Imran Khan’s spokesman Raoof Hasan, “He was taken away… before he could appear before the judges, which is in violation of all laws.”

“The party has given a call to immediately start protests across Pakistan,” PTI leader Azhar Mashwani tweeted.

Khan’s arrest was not authorized by IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, however, who requested the attorney general appear before the court within 15 minutes and instructed him to immediately find out who was behind the arrest.

“If an inquiry has to be conducted, action will also be taken against the prime minister and ministers,” the chief justice said.

Security forces previously attempted to detain Khan last March after an Islamabad court issued an arrest warrant to ensure his attendance in court to face graft charges.

However, security forces were blocked by hundreds of the former prime minister’s supporters, who gathered outside his Lahore home to prevent his arrest. The clashes between both sides, in which security forces fired tear gas and water cannons, and Khan’s supporters threw stones, led to dozens of injuries.

The former cricket star, who was ousted as prime minister in a no-confidence vote in parliament in April 2022, went to Islamabad to appear before three courts on charges of selling state gifts and failing to disclose assets but failed to appear before the fourth court to face indictment in the graft case, which is a legal process for starting his trial.

Khan claimed the charges filed against him, which include terrorism charges, are an effort by his successor, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, to discredit him and prevent him from contesting the upcoming elections.

At the time of his ousting as prime minister, Khan accused the United States of working with a coalition of Pakistani opposition parties to topple his government.

Khan alleged that US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu met with the Pakistan Ambassador Asad Majeed and warned that there could be implications if Khan was not ousted as prime minister.

Khan has long been known for his opposition to US foreign policy. In 2017, Khan organized a motorcade march to Pakistan’s tribal areas to protest US drone strikes against Islamic militants.

In November 2022, Khan was the target of an assassination attack. A gunman opened fire with an automatic weapon on his convoy of lorries and cars, injuring Khan’s leg and killing one of his supporters, and injuring seven more.

May 9, 2023 - Posted by | Civil Liberties | ,

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