Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan arrested in Islamabad

Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan was arrested from the premises of Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday (May 9), in a dramatic move that threatens fresh turmoil and protests in the country of 230 million.

Videos of the arrest showed scores of security personnel from the paramilitary force Rangers whisking Khan away in a van.

He was arrested during a court appearance in Islamabad over corruption allegations. Khan’s graft case is one of over 100 registered against him since he was ousted from power in a parliamentary vote in April last year.

Khan arrested by NAB: police chief

Akbar Nasir Khan, Islamabad inspection general, said that Khan was arrested in a case related to Al-Qadir Trust. The anti-corruption National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had issued an arrest warrant against Khan on May 1 in relation to the case, he said.

“Khan is accused of commission of the offense of corruption and corrupt practices,” according to the order issued by NAB.

What Govt is saying?

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah told reporters that Khan was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) after he did not appear before it “despite notices”.

Court summons IG Islamabad and DG NAB

The arrest prompted IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq to direct the Islamabad police chief, the interior ministry secretary, and the additional attorney general to appear before the court within 15 minutes.

He said that he was showing “restraint” and warned that he would “summon” the prime minister if the Islamabad police chief did not appear before the court.

PTI vows to fight legal battle for Khan’s release

PTI Secretary General Asad Umar tweeted that a six-member committee, headed by PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, would determine the next course of action. “Pakistan’s biggest political leader has been arrested,” Umar said. “The whole world is being shown that there is no law in the country.”

Former foreign minister and PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi vowed to fight a political and legal war for the “safe recovery” and “release” of the party chief. He said that Khan’s arrest, saying that it was unjustified and unacceptable.

Qureshi called on the Islamabad High Court judge to immediately take notice of the arrest and requested him to issue Imran’s release orders.

Khan’s party and supporters call for nationwide protests

Imran Khan’s party called for protests across the country on Tuesday.

Soon after the arrest, protests were reported in several cities across the country including Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi.

In Lahore, Khan’s supporters gathered at the Liberty Chowk. The demonstrators burnt tires and chanted slogans against the coalition government.

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