In a stunning turn of events, Imran Khan, Pakistan’s former Prime Minister and renowned cricketer-turned-politician, was arrested on Tuesday within the premises of the Islamabad High Court. The arrest came as Khan was appearing in court to face multiple corruption charges filed against him. This unexpected development has sent shockwaves throughout the nation, leaving both supporters and critics in a state of disbelief.
According to credible media reports, Khan was forcefully apprehended by security agents belonging to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). This anti-corruption body has accused him of misusing his authority and engaging in money laundering during his tenure as the country’s prime minister. Witnesses observed a chaotic scene as Khan’s supporters and lawyers attempted to resist his arrest but were ultimately overpowered by the security forces. Khan was then swiftly transported in an armored vehicle to an undisclosed location, intensifying the mystery surrounding his detention.
Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan released a video message on his Twitter account before he was arrested by the Rangers on Tuesday. In the video, he responded to the ISPR’s statement that condemned his allegations against a senior military officer. He said he was not lying and he had evidence to prove his claim. He also said he was ready to go to jail and he urged his supporters to stand up for democracy and the constitution.
My reply to the ISPR and the two main reasons on which the PDM and its patrons are trying to arrest me:
- To stop me from campaigning because inshallah when the elections are announced I will hold rallies.
2- To restrain me from mobilizing the people for a vigorous mass movement in support of the Constitution in case of violation of the Supreme Court order and deviation from the Constitution by the PDM government and its patrons regarding the holding of elections.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Khan’s political party, swiftly condemned the arrest, describing it as an “abduction” and a “blatant interference in judicial affairs” orchestrated by powerful entities. Fawad Chaudhry, a senior PTI official, highlighted the alleged injuries sustained by Khan’s legal team, supporters, and even a few policemen during the altercation. Chaudhry emphasized that Khan had obtained bail in all the cases against him and questioned the legal basis for his arrest.
The Islamabad High Court also expressed its dissatisfaction with the arrest and demanded an explanation from the NAB regarding the grounds for Khan’s detention. Furthermore, the court instructed the NAB to ensure Khan’s safety and provide him with necessary medical care during his confinement.
Imran Khan, a prominent figure both in the cricketing world and Pakistani politics, rose to power in 2018 after winning a historic election on a promise of combating corruption and fostering social justice and economic progress. However, his government encountered numerous challenges, including a struggling economy, the impact of a global pandemic, staunch opposition, and pressure from the influential military establishment.
The political tide turned against Khan in April 2022 when he faced a no-confidence vote orchestrated by his opponents, resulting in his removal from office. Khan vehemently protested his ouster, alleging it was unlawful and part of a larger Western conspiracy aimed at undermining Pakistan’s sovereignty and nuclear capabilities. He further accused the government led by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, brother of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, of corruption and incompetence, demanding early elections as a means of rectifying the situation.
Since his removal from power, Khan has spearheaded a nationwide campaign against the government of Shahbaz Sharif, organizing rallies and protests across the country. However, this relentless activism has resulted in multiple legal cases being filed against him by the NAB and other agencies. Khan has consistently claimed that these cases are politically motivated, specifically designed to silence his voice and hinder his opposition to the ruling party.
The arrest of Imran Khan has triggered widespread outrage among his supporters and sympathizers, prompting them to take to the streets in various cities, vehemently denouncing what they perceive as an “injustice” and a “coup” against their leader. Their demands are unequivocal: the immediate release of Khan and his restoration as the country’s prime minister.
Furthermore, Khan’s arrest has raised concerns about the stability of Pakistan’s democracy, particularly in a country that has a history of military coups and political unrest. Many observers fear that this development could potentially ignite further violence and social unrest, exacerbating an already volatile situation. Additionally, Pakistan faces multiple security threats from militant groups and regional adversaries, adding an additional layer of complexity to the current scenario.