Prime Minister Imran Khan Arrested: Pakistan’s political party, PTI, was arrested at the Islamabad High Court on Tuesday in the Al-Qadir Trust case. He and his wife are accused of receiving billions of rupees from a real estate firm to legalize Rs50 billion. The Islamabad police issued a statement quoting Inspector General Akbar Nasir Khan, confirming Imran’s arrest. At the same time, the Interior Minister stated that Imran had failed to appear before the court despite several notices. The Islamabad High Court summoned the Islamabad police chief, the interior ministry secretary, and the additional attorney general to explain Imran’s arrest.
Asad Umar revealed that a six-member committee led by Shah Mahmood Qureshi would determine the following action, while protests were reported in several cities. The police chief stated that the situation in Islamabad was under control, and Section 144 had been imposed in the town, with action promised against those who violated the order.
عمران خان کو قادر ٹرسٹ کیس میں گرفتار کیاگیا ہے۔ آئی جی اسلام آباد ۔— Islamabad Police (@ICT_Police) May 9, 2023
حالات معمول کے مطابق ہیں ۔ آئی جی اسلام آباد
دفعہ 144 نافذ العمل ہے خلاف ورزی کی صورت میں کارروائی عمل میں لائی جائے گی ۔
According to Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, Imran Khan had been issued several notices to appear before the court. Still, he failed to do so, leading to his arrest by the National Accountability Bureau for alleged corruption and causing losses to the national treasury. However, Sanaullah clarified that Imran was not physically abused during his arrest. A copy of Imran’s arrest warrant, obtained by Dawn.com, revealed that he was accused of corruption and corrupt practices under Section 9(a) of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999.
نوٹسز کے باوجود عمران پیش نہیں ہوئے، قومی خزانے کو نقصان پہنچانے پر نیب کی جانب سے گرفتاری کی گئی ہے۔ ان پر کسی قسم کا کوئی تشدد نہیں کیا گیا۔— Rana SanaUllah Khan (@RanaSanaullahPK) May 9, 2023
Initially, PTI lawyer Faisal Chaudhry confirmed the news of Imran’s arrest to Dawn.com, which prompted the Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Aamer Farooq to summon the Islamabad police chief, interior ministry secretary, and additional attorney general to appear before the court within 15 minutes.
The Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court expressed his dissatisfaction with the situation, stating that he was showing restraint but warning that he would summon the Prime Minister if the Islamabad police chief did not appear before the court and explain why Imran had been arrested and in which case. During Imran’s arrest, Barrister Gohar Khan, who was present at the IHC, alleged that he was subjected to physical abuse, including being hit on the head and leg, and that his wheelchair was also thrown aside.
However, the police chief denied these allegations, stating that Imran was not subjected to physical mistreatment during his arrest. A Reuters witness reported that shortly after Imran entered the gate of the IHC, contingents of paramilitary forces and armoured personnel carriers entered the premises.
After the armoured vehicles entered the gate of the IHC, Khan was taken away under heavy security, and the entrance was subsequently blocked, according to a witness from Reuters.
پاکستان کے سب سے بڑے سیاسی لیڈر کو ہائی کورٹ پر حملہ کر کے گرفتار۔ پوری دنیا کو دکھایا جا رہا ہے کہ ملک میں کوئی قانون باقی نہیں۔ شاہ محمود قریشی کی سربراہی میں 6 رکنی کمیٹی جو عمران خان صاحب نے بنائی تھی وہ لائحہ عمل کا اعلان کرے گی— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) May 9, 2023
The arrest follows Imran’s recent accusations against DG-C Maj Gen Faisal Naseer of being involved in an assassination attempt against him in Wazirabad, which the military has rejected. Imran repeated these allegations in a video message earlier today.
Despite several unsuccessful attempts, including a police raid on his residence in Lahore’s Zaman Park, Imran had managed to evade arrest until now.
Imran Khan was arrested and allegedly tortured in custody.
PTI Vice President Fawad Chaudhry took to Twitter, claiming that the IHC had been “occupied by the Rangers” and lawyers were being “subjected to torture.” He also alleged that Imran Khan had been “abducted” from the court premises and scores of lawyers and people had been “tortured.” PTI Secretary General Asad Umar announced a six-member committee led by PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi to determine the next course of action. Other PTI leaders, including Hammad Azhar, Shafqat Mahmood, Azhar Mashwani, and Musarrat Cheema, condemned Imran’s arrest, alleging mistreatment and calling for protests. The party’s official Twitter account shared videos of Imran’s lawyer and visuals of the alleged arrest, urging the people to “defend their country.” The Islamabad police denied allegations of torture and stated that they had imposed Section 144 in the city and encircled Imran’s car.
اسلام آباد ہائیکورٹ پر رینجرزنے قبضہ کر لیا ہے، وکلاء کو تشدد کا نشانہ بنایا جا رہا ہے، عمران خان کی گاڑی کے گرد گھیرا ڈال لیا گیا ہے— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) May 9, 2023
Fawad Chaudhry, PTI Vice President, tweeted alleging that Imran Khan was abducted from the court premises while lawyers and people were tortured. He stated that Imran was taken to an unknown location by unknown people. PTI leader Hammad Azhar called for the nation to protest against Imran’s arrest, calling him “our red line”. Shafqat Mahmood, another PTI leader, strongly condemned the arrest, claiming that Imran was also mistreated. PTI’s official Twitter account shared videos of Imran’s lawyer and alleged arrest, calling on the people to defend their country. PTI leader Musarrat Cheema posted a video on Twitter stating that Imran was being tortured. The Islamabad police imposed Section 144 in the capital city and denied the allegations of torture, adding that Imran’s car was encircled.
Protests reported in several cities
Meanwhile, protests were reported in several cities across the country.
In Lahore, PTI supporters led by Senator Ejaz Chaudhry gathered at the Liberty Chowk. Correspondent at the scene said party workers had also closed down Akbar Chowk, Peco Road, Main Canal Road and Faisal Town.
The demonstrators burnt tyres and chanted slogans against the coalition government. Outside Imran’s Zaman Park residence, PTI supporters also tore down government banners.
Important message by @Hammad_Azhar : pic.twitter.com/I3erm0JP9l— PTI (@PTIofficial) May 9, 2023
In Karachi, both lanes of the Sharea Faisal were blocked after PTI MNAs and MPAs blocked the roads.
PTI’s Sindh chapter sent a protest call, asking supporters to gather outside the Insaf House at 4 pm.
Demonstrations were also reported in Peshawar’s Hashtnagri.
This is a developing story that is being updated as the situation evolves. Initial reports in the media can sometimes be inaccurate. We will ensure timeliness and accuracy by relying on credible sources, such as the concerned, qualified authorities and our staff reporters.
Transcript of Imran’s pre-recorded video message after being arrested
Dear fellow Pakistanis,
As you hear these words, I am already confined in an unlawful case. It is evident that our fundamental rights, law, and democracy have been suppressed.
I fear that this might be the last time I address you. Hence, I want to discuss a few things with you.
I have been a public figure for 50 years, and I have never gone against Pakistan’s Constitution or broken the law. Throughout my political career, I have always advocated for peaceful and constitutional struggle.
What is happening today is not because I have broken any law but because I refused to back down from the haqeeqi azaadi three. They want me to accept the corrupt cabal that has been imposed on us.
I urge you all to come forward and support the cause. We have to work hard and struggle for our freedom, which will not be given on a plate.
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