Imran Khan was detained outside the Islamabad high court (IHC) on Tuesday for corruption.
Local sources say Rangers arrested the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman. Khan faced mutiny and attempted murder accusations in the Islamabad High Court.
An eyewitness told Reuters that paramilitary men and armoured personnel carriers followed Khan inside the IHC gate. Khan was escorted by armoured vehicles when the gate was shut.
Hammad Azhar, PTI leader, called Imran’s detention “not acceptable” and “our red line”. He demanded a nationwide protest over Imran’s detention.
Imran was arrested after many failed efforts, including a police raid on his Lahore Zaman Park home.
Section 144 was declared in Islamabad by the police.
The Islamabad IG, assistant attorney general, and interior secretary appeared before Chief Justice Aamer Farooq after being called for Imran Khan’s arrest.
The IHC CJ was furious about the delay.
The Islamabad IG said he learned about Imran’s detention via the media. He told the judge that the PTI head was detained in a corruption case and presented the arrest warrant.
“If the arrest was illegal, I will issue an appropriate order,” Justice Farooq said.
The barrister testifies.
Barrister Gohar Khan, who saw the arrest, claimed Rangers personnel took Imran. The lawyer said the Rangers shattered windows and pepper sprayed to arrest the PTI head before he entered the biometric room.
Gohar informed the court, “They hit Imran Khan with a rod… they struck his injured leg,” and offered to record his statement.
The IHC CJ said he never realized the accountability watchdog could make such an arrest.
Is this not an attack on judicial independence? Is this arrest legal? “Everything is in front of you […] lawyers have been attacked […] my court has been attacked […] I have been attacked,” Justice Farooq said.
The judge summoned NAB Rawalpindi’s director general and prosecutor general.
“PTI nationwide protests”PTI vice-chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi has pledged to undertake a political and legal battle for the party chief’s “safe recovery” and “release.” He “strongly condemned” Imran’s detention, calling it unwarranted and unacceptable.
Before leaving for the IHC, Imran told Qureshi he was ready to be detained. “Storming the high court and disrespecting lawyers is fascist and condemnable,” he remarked. He also asked the IHC CJ to promptly take note of the arrest and release Imran.
“The entire nation is extremely concerned over Imran Khan’s well-being,” Qureshi said, adding that the PTI would peacefully protest this action nationwide today. The party’s central leadership, founded by Imran, is convening, he added. “We will soon unveil a comprehensive plan.”
Democracy died: Imran Khan
“Till the time these words of mine reach you, I will be arrested in a baseless and unlawful case,” Khan claimed in a pre-arrest video. “This shows that fundamental rights and democracy in Pakistan have been buried,” says former Pakistani PM Imran Khan in a pre-arrest video statement.
“They want me to embrace the crooked, foreign government that was forced on me… Please come out today. Khan stated, “Freedom is earned.”
Al-Qadir Trust arrest: Islamabad Police
Islamabad police released a statement quoting Inspector General (IG) Akbar Nasir Khan as saying that Imran had been arrested in connection with the Al-Qadir Trust case, in which the PTI chief and his wife allegedly bought a large plot of land from a real estate firm for PKR 50 billion.
The police head further declared that Islamabad was “normal” and that violators of Section 144 would be punished.
Rana Sanaullah, interior minister, said Imran had ignored court notices.
He alleged the National Accountability Bureau arrested him for national treasury losses.
Al-Qadir Trust case?
The former PM, his wife Bushra Bibi, and other PTI leaders are under NAB investigation for a deal between the PTI administration and a property tycoon that reportedly cost the national exchequer PKR 50 billion.
Khan and others reportedly altered PKR 50 billion submitted by Britain’s National Crime Agency to the government.
They are also accused of receiving 458 kanals of land in Mouza Bakrala, Sohawa, to create Al Qadir University.
Imran Khan kidnapped, tortured: PTI leaders
PTI vice-president Fawad Chaudhry tweeted that the Rangers “occupied” the IHC and lawyers “are being tortured”.
READ ALSO: Imran Khan tells court ‘third assassination attempt’ against him.
Fawad tweeted that Imran was “abducted” from the courthouse and that attorneys and civilians were “tortured.”
“Unknown people have taken Imran Khan to an unknown location,” he stated.
PTI leader Azhar Mashwani said the Rangers “abducted” Khan from the court. He stated the party called for nationwide protests immediately.
IHC Chief Justice summons police
After the incident, IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq criticized the Islamabad police and ordered the authorities to appear in court.
READ ALSO: Pakistan army condemns Imran Khan for murder attempt charges
The IHC CJ stated he was exhibiting “restraint” and threatened to “summon” the PM if the Islamabad police chief did not come in court.
“Come to court and tell us why Imran was arrested and in which case,” Justice Farooq added.
Khan’s pre-arrest footageKhan sent a video message while on his way to the IHC, reiterating his claims that a high military official was plotting to murder him.
Imran, who was shot and injured while campaigning in November, said the threat to his life is worse than before and claimed, without evidence, that his political opponents and the military want to prevent him from running in elections later this year.
Khan, 70, used a rally over the weekend to accuse the military of at least two attempts to assassinate him, centering on a top Inter-Service Intelligence official.
Before leaving for IHC, I want to say this. Imran remarked, “This man [military officer] tried to kill me twice and whenever an investigation is carried out, I will prove that it was this man and there is a whole gang with him.” The nation knew who was with the officer.