PTI Chairman arrested from IHC in Al-Qadir Trust case

—– Masses throng on streets across country after PTI’s Red Line crossed
—– Islamabad High Court declares Imran Khan’s arrest as legal in a hurry
—– PTI to approach SC against IHC upholding Imran’s arrest, says Fawad
—– Imran Khan’s recorded video message surfaces after arrest
—– Interior Minister says Imran had failed to appear before the Court despite being issued several notices
—– PTI lawyer says Imran was hit in the head and in his injured leg, tortured during arrest
—– PTI Chief to be presented before NAB Court in Rawalpindi today
—– Mobile broadband suspended in Pakistan on interior ministry’s directives
—– Asad Umar says six-member committee, headed by Qureshi, would determine the next course of action

By Anzal Amin

ISLAMABAD: A team of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), with the help of Rangers, on Tuesday took former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan into custody in the Al-Qadir Trust case, prompting the IHC to take note. The NAB adopted a view that Imran Khan did not respond to the notices sent to him and his arrest was ‘completely in line with law and as per NAB ordinance’.

Saifullah Niazi, a cousin of Imran Khan, said the PTI chief had been arrested on the premises of the Islamabad High Court where he appeared in two cases. He was shifted to the NAB Rawalpindi office. The NAB team was assisted by the Pakistan Rangers personnel in the operation.

The Islamabad IGP, in a tweet, said Imran Khan had been arrested in the Al-Qadir Trust case. He said Mr Khan had been shown the warrant before arrest. He further said section 144 had been imposed in the capital city and there was peace.

The protests have been held in major cities such as Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Mardan, and Quetta, with thousands of PTI workers taking part.

Demonstrators have been demanding the release of Imran Khan, and many have been carrying banners and placards denouncing the arrest.

However, the protests have led to the imposition of Section 144 in many cities, which prohibits gatherings and political activities. This measure has been put in place to maintain law and order, according to the ministry of interior. Authorities have warned that legal action will be taken against those who violate Section 144. This includes the use of force if necessary, to disperse protesters who refuse to comply.

The situation remains tense in many parts of the country, with PTI workers vowing to continue their protests until Imran Khan is released. The arrest of the popular political leader has sparked outrage amongst his supporters, who believe that he has been unfairly targeted.

Imran Khan said in his video message that he would be arrested in a false case when his message reaches PTI workers and supporters. He clarified that he has not violated any law but it is a pressure tactic to stop the Haqeeqi Azadi Tehreek.

“They want us to accept the government of a corrupt gang. Independence cannot be served to any nation in a plate but it needs struggle and hard work.”

PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry urged workers in a tweet to “come out of home” against the arrest of Imran Khan. He likened the arrest of Imran Khan to “arresting the judiciary” and wrote that the Islamabad High Court had been attacked.

In a tweet, Fawad Chaudhry has said the party will approach the Supreme Court in the morning to challenge the Islamabad High Court’s upholding of party chairman Imran Khan’s arrest. He termed the high court’s decision “surprising”.

PTI Secretary General Asad Umar tweeted that a six-member committee, headed by PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, would determine the next course of action.
“Pakistan’s biggest political leader has been arrested,” Umar said. “The whole world is being shown that there is no law in the country.”

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), on the orders of the Interior Ministry, blocked mobile broadband services across the country.

Videos of violent protests were shared widely on social media platforms after unrest flared up following the former prime minister’s arrest in the afternoon, after which mobile broadband services were blocked, a PTA spokesperson confirmed.

She said that the regulatory authority was also receiving reports of social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, being down. However, these reports could not be confirmed, she added.

Barrister Gohar Khan, who was present at the IHC during the PTI chief’s arrest, alleged Imran was “tortured”.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said that Imran had failed to appear before the court despite being issued several notices. “The arrest has been conducted by the National Accountability Bureau for causing losses to the national treasury,” he said, adding that Imran was not tortured.

The former prime minister, along with his wife Bushra Bibi and other PTI leaders, is facing a NAB inquiry related to a settlement between the PTI government and a property tycoon, which reportedly caused a loss of 190 million pounds to the national exchequer.

As per the charges, Khan and other accused allegedly adjusted Rs50 billion — 190 million pounds at the time — sent by Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) to the government.

They are also accused of getting undue benefit in the form of over 458 kanals of land at Mouza Bakrala, Sohawa, to establish Al Qadir University.