Ex-Pakistani cricket captain Imran Khan, taken into custody at Islamabad court

imran khan pakistan

Today, Imran Khan, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, was arrested as he entered the Islamabad High Court for a hearing related to one of the many cases against him since he was ousted from office last year.

The 70 year old former cricketer cum politician got into custody by the paramilitary forces within the court premises. The arrest follows accusations by the country’s army that Mr Khan had made unfounded claims against a senior officer of the spy agency ISI.

According to a tweet by Islamabad Police in Urdu, Imran Khan was arrested in the Qadir Trust case, which involves allegations that Bahria Town allotted land worth millions to Al-Qadir Trust, owned by Mr Khan and his wife.

Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah tweeted that Imran Khan had been issued several notices to appear before the court, but had failed to do so. He affirmed that the NAB (National Accountability Bureau) had detained him for allegedly causing financial losses to the national treasury and clarified that his arrest was peaceful without any use of violence.

However, the manner of Imran Khan’s arrest has led to speculation that it may not have been based solely on the merits of the case. The PTI has alleged that police officers entered the court, smashed the glass window of the room where Mr Khan’s biometric data was being taken, and dragged him outside. As a result, Section 144 has been enforced, and the Islamabad police have warned that they will take action in case of any violations.

In the hours before he left for court, Imran Khan tweeted a video in which he repeated allegations against a top ISI officer, Major-General Faisal Naseer, whom he accused of involvement in an attempt on his life and the murder of senior journalist Arshad Sharif. The former Prime Minister had already evaded his arrest several times recently, even in a dramatic escape from a police-raid at his residence in Zaman Park of Lahore.

The Islamabad High Court has directed the Islamabad police chief, the interior ministry secretary, and the additional attorney general to appear before it within 15 minutes to explain the reasons for Imran Khan’s arrest and the case against him.

The court’s chief justice has warned that he will summon the prime minister if the police chief fails to appear.