Imran Khan: Pakistan’s ex-PM arrested outside court

·2-min read

Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan has been arrested outside the High Court in the capital Islamabad, his party said.

Mr Khan appeared in court to face corruption charges, which he says are politically motivated.

Fawad Chaudhry, a senior official with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party said the 72-year-old Khan was arrested on Tuesday by the country's anti-corruption body, the National Accountability Bureau.

He said the former PM was dragged out of the court and into a police vehicle, calling it “an abduction."

TV images showed Mr Khan being pulled by security forces towards an armoured vehicle, which took him away.

Mr Khan was ousted in a no-confidence vote in April 2022.

He has claimed his ouster was illegal and a Western conspiracy and has campaigned against the government of his successor, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, demanding early elections.

After the former premier was taken away, a scuffle broke out between Mr Khan's supporters and police.

Mr Chaudhry said some of Mr Khan’s lawyers and supporters were injured in the scuffle, as were several policemen.

FILE - Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan (AP)
FILE - Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan (AP)

The party complained to the Islamabad High Court, which requested a police report explaining the charges for Khan's arrest.

Officials from the anti-corruption body said that Pakistan's National Accountability Bureau had issued arrest warrants for Khan last week in a separate graft case, for which he had not obtained bail — something that would protect him from arrest under the country's laws.

Officials, who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said Mr Khan will be brought to appear before an anti-graft tribunal later on Tuesday.

There were no other official statements from the government on Mr Khan's arrest.

Mr Khan had arrived in Islamabad earlier in the day from the nearby city of Lahore, where he resides, to face charges before the Islamabad High Court in multiple graft cases against him.

He has claimed that the string of cases against him, which include terrorism charges, are a plot by the government to discredit the former cricket star turned Islamist politician.