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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Fresh turmoil looms in Pakistan as Imran Khan’s arrest sparks countrywide protests

 Former Pakistan Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan was arrested by the Rangers paramilitary force from the Islamabad High Court on Tuesday, a dramatic move that threatens to spark fresh turmoil in the country as protests erupted in multiple cities across Pakistan on his partys call, media reports said.

The former premier was arrested in the Al-Qadir Trust case, said the federal capital’s top cop, The Express Tribune reported.

“The situation is normal. Section 144 is in place and violations will result in police action,” said the Islamabad IG.

Video broadcast on local TV channels showed Khan – who has a pronounced limp since being shot at during an assassination attempt last year – being manhandled by dozens of paramilitary rangers into an armoured car inside the Islamabad High Court premises, The Express Tribune reported.

Khan’s arrest came a day after the military warned him against making “baseless allegations” after he again accused a senior army officer of plotting to kill him, The Express Tribune reported.

The rebuke late on Monday underscored how far Khan’s relations have deteriorated with the military, which backed his rise to power in 2018 but withdrew its support ahead of a parliamentary vote of confidence that ousted him from power last year.

According to the Islamabad IG, Khan has been taken to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) office in Rawalpindi, The Express Tribune reported.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said that the deposed premier did not appear in court despite notices for the case hearing in the land transfer of Al-Qadir Trust – for which Imran and his wife were presumably trustees.

“[The] NAB has arrested him for damaging the national treasury. There was no violence,” Sanaullah said, The Express Tribune reported.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)

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