Islamabad is bracing for political turbulence following the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan by Rangers personnel at the Islamabad High Court (IHC). The arrest was made based on a warrant issued by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in connection with the Al-Qadir Trust case.
Khan’s arrest occurred just before he was set to appear before the IHC to seek bail for multiple FIRs filed against him. He was escorted to NAB Rawalpindi in a black Toyota Hilux Vigo driven by Rangers personnel.
Khan seemed to anticipate his arrest, stating earlier that if there was a warrant for him, it should be brought directly to him and that he was prepared to go to jail himself. Despite claiming there was no case against him, he expressed his readiness to be arrested and potentially imprisoned.
Khan’s dramatic arrest, which involved breaking doors, smashing windows, and scuffling with PTI supporters and lawyers, has incited protests across the country. Islamabad Inspector General of Police Dr. Akbar Nasir Khan confirmed the development and said the situation was under control.
Geo News reported that the PTI chairman was in the IHC’s biometric verification department when he was apprehended by paramilitary forces, who held arrest warrants. These warrants had been issued on May 1 by NAB chairman Lt. Gen (retd) Nazir Ahmad Butt.
The accountability watchdog, NAB, stated that Khan’s arrest was executed under Section 9A of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999, and that Rangers troops were deployed for the operation by the Ministry of the Interior.
Khan’s arrest has been widely condemned by the PTI, which has labeled it an “abduction” and called for nationwide protests. Consequently, PTI supporters have staged demonstrations in various cities, resulting in clashes with the police in some areas.
In response to Khan’s arrest, the PTI has formed a six-member committee, led by Shah Mehmood Qureshi, to determine its next course of action.
The Al-Qadir Trust case involves a NAB inquiry related to a settlement between the PTI government and a property tycoon, which allegedly caused a loss of 190 million pounds to the national exchequer. Khan, along with his wife and other PTI leaders, is accused of misappropriating funds and unlawfully benefiting from land allocations to establish Al Qadir University.