Former Pakistan Prime Minister and leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, Imran Khan, was arrested on Tuesday by Rangers officials in Islamabad in connection with the Al-Qadir Trust case. The arrest was confirmed by IG Islamabad, who also stated that Imran had been taken to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) office in Rawalpindi. According to reports, the arrest was made after Imran failed to appear in court for a hearing related to the land transfer of Al-Qadir Trust, for which he and his wife were trustees.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice, Aamer Farooq, has taken notice of the incident and summoned the IG Islamabad, the Secretary Interior and Additional Attorney General to appear before the court. The judge has directed the authorities to inform the court immediately about who was behind the arrest and in what case Imran had been arrested. The judge also warned that action would be taken, “even if it has to be taken against ministers”.
The arrest of the PTI leader has sparked controversy, with the party’s senior leader, Fawad Chaudhry, claiming that lawyers were being subjected to torture inside the IHC premises and that Imran’s car was surrounded. The PTI also claimed on its official Twitter handle that Imran’s lawyer had been “badly injured” during the arrest.
The Al-Qadir Trust case involves allegations that Imran Khan, along with a property tycoon, looted Rs50 billion from the national treasury and got the trust registered on 450-kanal. The case has been ongoing for several years, with Imran and his wife being accused of being trustees of the trust.
The arrest of the PTI chief has further polarized an already divided political landscape in Pakistan. The opposition parties have condemned the arrest, while the government maintains that Imran has been arrested for damaging the national treasury. The situation remains tense, with the IHC chief justice promising action against those responsible for the arrest, “even if it has to be taken against ministers”.