Private security personnel escort Imran Khan, former prime minister and head of opposition party Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI), during a rally to show solidarity with Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, in Lahore, Pakistan, 06 May 2023. EFE-EPA/RAHAT DAR

Pakistan’s ex-PM Imran Khan arrested

Islamabad, May 9 (EFE).- Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan was arrested by a paramilitary force from a court complex in the capital Islamabad on Tuesday, police and his party said.

Supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, head of the opposition party Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI), attend a rally to show solidarity with Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, in Lahore, Pakistan, 06 May 2023. EFE-EPA/FILE/RAHAT DAR

Khan, who faces several corruption and terrorism charges, was arrested by Pakistan Rangers when he was in the Islamabad High Court for pre-arrest bail in a case filed against him after his ouster in April last year.

Islamabad police said Khan was taken into custody in a graft case relating to alleged financial malpractices in setting up a multi-million dollar university project trust in the eastern Punjab province.

“Pakistan Rangers abducted PTI chairman Imran Khan,” Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf tweeted, posting visuals that showed dozens of troopers whisking the former prime minister away and forcing him into a police vehicle.

“Pakistan’s brave people must come out and defend their country,” the opposition party said, asking people to protest Khan’s arrest.

Fawad Chaudhry, a PTI leader and one of the closest aides of Khan, said the Islamabad High Court “has been occupied by Pakistan Rangers.”

Chaudhry alleged that lawyers were being subjected to torture by the paramilitary troopers.

Another PTI leader Musarrat Cheema alleged in a video message that the paramilitary troopers “are torturing Imran Khan right now.

“They are beating Khan sahib. They have done something with Khan sahib,” Cheema said.

Khan was in the Islamabad High Court to seek pre-arrest bail.

Among the cases, Khan is accused of illegally selling state gifts from foreign dignitaries and failing to declare them to the electoral commission among his assets.

The 70-year-old cricketer-turned-politician has skipped several indictment hearings in Islamabad sessions court while recovering from bullet wounds sustained in an assassination attempt last year.

Khan was ousted from office in a no-confidence vote in April last year.

He has accused the country’s all-powerful military of helping the then-opposition to remove him from power. EFE