Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has been arrested by the paramilitary Rangers in a corruption case. He was taken from the Islamabad High Court and is likely to stay in custody for “four to five days”. This has caused protests across the country by supporters of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party. The party has claimed that at least four people have been killed and over a dozen injured in violent clashes between security forces and PTI supporters.
Khan will appear in a special court at the capital’s police headquarters to answer graft charges on Wednesday. Under new amendments to the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999, the duration of physical remand has been cut from 90 days to 14 days. “We will seek the maximum physical remand of 14 days from the court,” said a source, adding that the court is expected to grant at least four to five days remand.
The arrest of the former cricketer-turned-politician comes a day after the powerful army accused him of levelling baseless allegations against a senior officer of the spy agency ISI. Khan’s detention follows months of political crisis and came hours after the powerful military rebuked him for alleging that a senior officer had been involved in a plot to kill him.
Khan’s arrest warrant said that he was accused of corruption and corrupt practice in relation to the Al-Qadir Trust, owned by the PTI chairman and his wife Bushra Bibi. The trust is about the setting up of Al-Qadir University for Sufism in the 2019 Sohawa area of Jhelum district of Punjab.
As the news of Khan’s arrest spread, massive protests broke out in several cities across Pakistan, with some turning violent and damaging public property. For the first time, Khan’s supporters smashed the main gate of the army’s sprawling headquarters in Rawalpindi, where troops exercised restraint.