Former Pakistan Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan was arrested by the Rangers, the country's paramilitary force, on Tuesday (May 9) outside the Islamabad High Court.
Khan was to appear in the court to seek bail on multiple ongoing FIRs against him. The Rangers made the arrest following a National Accountability Bureau's (NAB) warrant regarding the Al-Qadir Trust case against Khan.
As soon as Khan reached the court, he was surrounded by dozens of security personnel in riot-control gear, was rushed to a black van by his arm, and taken to an unknown location, reported Reuters.
As per a report by Dawn, Khan and his aides are being investigated for accepting 5 billion Pakistani Rupees (PKR) and numerous kanals of land from Bahria Town, an Islamabad-based real estate company, allegedly in return for shielding the company in a money laundering case.
The funds and land were channelled to the accused individuals through a non-profit organisation named Al-Qadir Trust, which had Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi as its only trustees. The alleged agreement between the PTI government and Bahria Town resulted in an estimated loss of 68 billion PKR (19 billion INR) to the national treasury as Khan. Out of the total 458 kanals of land received as a donation, Khan allegedly transferred 240 kanals of the donated land to Farah Gogi, a close friend of Bushra Bibi, as stated by the news outlet.
According to Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, the land's value was deliberately underestimated. Former Finance Minister Miftah Ismail claimed that Imran Khan gave approximately 68 billion PKR (19 billion INR) billion INR) to real estate tycoon Malik Riaz, who later had to surrender this amount to British authorities during an investigation into potential proceeds of crime. Malik Riaz also donated vast acres of land to a trust comprising Imran Khan, Bushra Bibi, and Farah Gogi.
According to an ANI report, Khan has been facing more than 37 cases across Pakistan. These cases include litigation, law and order, federal investigation Agency (FIA), Toshakhana, attempt to murder, Election Commission of Pakistan, foreign funding case, KP helicopter case, blasphemy, terrorism and sedition.
Since his ouster as the PM, in April 2022, following the no-confidence motion the cricketer-turned-politician has been batting for early elections, supported by favourable opinion poll results and enthusiastic rallies, Khan remains steadfast in his opposition against the government and the Establishment. As a result, the Shahbaz Sharif-led government responded by piling up multiple cases against him.
Reacting to the arrest on his Twitter, PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry alleged that Khan had been “abducted” from the court.
Former PM Imran Khan has been abducted from Court premises, scores of lawyers and general people have been tortured, Imran Khan has been whisked away by unknown people to an unknown location, CJ Islamabad HIgh Court has ordered Secy interior and IG police to appear within 15 min…— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) May 9, 2023