Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan whose arrest in a corruption case has triggered violence in Pakistan can be sentenced for jail as he has also been convicted in the Toshakhana case.
However, Khan's arrest comes as no surprise with the former PM evading arrests in numerous cases by taking protective bails.But this time, it wa
e police but the paramilitary force Punjab Rangers who shockingly arrested Khan outside a court where he was there to attain a bail in a case. Scores of Punjab Rangers had allegedly pushed and bundled Khan inside the police van, on the orders of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
The aftermath of his arrest: At least 8 people have died and nearly 1,400 arrested, according to the police in the violence that has gripped Pakistan since Tuesday.
Ever since his arrest, his PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) supporters have taken to the streets in Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, setting properties on fire, stone-pelting and holding demonstrations against the government.
Despite arrests of several top leaders of Imran Khan’s party, protests in Pakistan against Imran Khan’s arrest are becoming bigger and more violent! pic.twitter.com/uuGaOYAXAq— Ashok Swain (@ashoswai) May 10, 2023
Not only Khan but PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi has also been arrested in Islamabad by the police for inciting violence, Dawn reported.
Internet has been shut down in Pakistan and the army has been called in to quell the violence as protesters target government properties.
Khan’s arrest comes in the backdrop of certain cases against him which involved corruption allegations.
Why was he arrested? According to the police, Khan was taken in custody for not cooperating in the ongoing corruption case of land grabbing.
Khan was accused of taking land as a bribe by Pakistani business tycoon Malik Riaz Hussein in exchange of political favours. The land was given to the Al Qadir Trust set up by Khan’s third wife, Bushra Bibi. However, appearing before the National Accountability Bureay earlier this year, Khan had denied the charges, saying that the land was given for charitable purposes.
Why Imran Khan is expected to remain in jail for a long time: Though a judgement is awaited in the Toshakhana case, it is expected that the it will be against him. And once he is sentenced in the case, he will not be able to stand for office, possibly for life, BBC reported.
Further this is only 1 in nearly 100 cases of corruption slapped against him since his ouster as PM last year. It is highly expected that Khan will be prosecuted further in other cases too.
The 70-year-old PTI chief had come full blows against the administration since last year April 2022 when he was ousted as the PM after losing a no-confidence motion against him in the parliament.
He taken taken a stand against the army of Pakistan for meddling in the political affairs, and had been constantly attacking former Army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Ironically, it was the Army only who is believed to have been behind, Khan’s ascension to power in 2018, and his fall out with the army was also said to be a reason for his ousting as PM.
Khan’s arrest and his conviction in the corruption case, will deter him from contesting the elections later this year, which he might have won owing to the massive public support the former cricketer-turned-PM had been garnering.
Incumbent PM Shehbaz Sharif and his party Pakistan Muslim League (N) along with Bilawal Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) have been severely criticized in the last few months as Khan was removed from power.
That Khan was generating a good public response was evident from the fact that his party was winning elections and it was expected that PTI would singularly emerge as the biggest party after the elections.
But his arrest puts a full stop to his election campaign and his second venture as PM of Pakistan. This is also why his supporters are extremely agitated and have taken to the streets fighting against the police.
At present, Khan is remanded in eight-day custody and will apply for bail after his custody ends.