Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan arrested at court appearance | Euronews
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has been arrested during a court appearance in Islamabad over corruption allegations, after months of a political crisis.
Musarrat Jamshed Cheema, a leader of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, confirmed Khan’s arrest on Tuesday to Al Jazeera.
“He went for his biometrics procedure from where he was picked by the Rangers,” she said, referring to the paramilitary force.
Security personnel escort a car carrying Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan as he arrives at the high court in Islamabad
Akbar Nasir Khan, a top police official in Islamabad, told Al Jazeera that Khan was arrested in a case related to Al-Qadir Trust. The anti-corruption National Accountability Bureau had issued an arrest warrant against Khan on May 1 in relation to the case, he said.
Since his removal from power last year, Khan has been slapped with dozens of charges, all of which he denies and says are politically motivated.
Imran Khan’s lawyer accused the Rangers of hitting Khan on his head and kicking him before taking him away.
“Rangers forcibly entered and broke the door and window [of the room]. They picked up Imran Khan from his wheelchair, hit him on his head and kicked him,” Gohar Ali Khan, who was accompanying the former prime minister at the Islamabad High Court, said in a video posted on the PTI’s social media account.
“I fell during the commotion. Rangers pepper sprayed him and took him away,” the lawyer added.
Ali Khan said no police officials were present inside the room where Khan was arrested from.
Fawad Chaudhry, a PTI leader, tweeted that the Islamabad High Court complex was “occupied” by the Rangers and lawyers were “being subjected to torture”.
Video footage on local media showed Khan being escorted to a Rangers vehicle and taken to an unknown location.
PTI officials called on supporters to take to the streets following Khan’s arrest, which they termed an abduction.
Rangers abducted PTI Chairman Imran Khan, these are the visuals. Pakistan’s brave people must come out and defend their country. pic.twitter.com/hJwG42hsE4
— PTI (@PTIofficial) May 9, 2023
“Pakistan’s brave people must come out and defend their country,” the party posted on Twitter.
Police in Islamabad, however, warned that an order banning gatherings of more than four people would be strictly enforced.
Reports said Aamer Farooq, the chief justice of the Islamabad High Court, has ordered government officials to appear before the court over Khan’s arrest.
The 70-year-old cricketer-turned-politician was removed from power in April 2022 after he lost a confidence vote in parliament. Since then, he has been campaigning for early national polls, due in October this year.
Credit: Al Jazeera