Imran Khan's arrest in Al-Qadir Trust case stokes sense of foreboding

Imran Khan's arrest in Al-Qadir Trust case stokes sense of foreboding


PTI chief was arrested by a Rangers team

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – 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. 

 According to a report, Bushra Bibi has challenged the NAB inquiry into the case in the IHC, which has admitted the plea for hearing. 

PTI lawyer Faisal Chaudhry also confirmed the arrest of Imran Khan. 

- Imran Khan's arrest warrant - 

Imran’s arrest warrant was signed by NAB Chairman Lt-Gen Nazir Ahmed. It said the PTI chief was accused of corruption and corrupt practices under Section 9(a) of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999. 


Reacting to the arrest of Imran Khan, PTI Vice President Fawad Chaudhry tweeted that the IHC had been “occupied by the Rangers” and "lawyers are being subjected to torture”. “Imran Khan’s car had been surrounded,” he added.  

In another tweet, Fawad Chaudhry said Imran Khan had been abducted from court premises.

- IHC springs into action - 

Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Amir Farooq sprang into action and summoned the IGP and the Secretary Interior within 15 minutes in court. He said it should be clear which case Imran Khan was involved in and why he had been arrested. He said the act was patently wrong. 

He said he would not hesitate to summon Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif if the IGP and the Secretary Interior would not appear in court. He further said he could take action against the prime minister and other ministers too. Later, the police chief appeared in court and claimed that Imran Khan had been legally arrested after showing the warrant. He said no one had tortued the PTI chief. 

- PTI torture claim - 

Barrister Gohar Khan, who was at the IHC during the PTI chief’s arrest, alleged Imran was ‘tortured’. “They hit Imran’s head and leg,” he told media, claiming that Rangers had arrested the ex-premier. He further stated that the PTI chairman’s wheelchair was tossed aside during the arrest. 

A witness said shortly after Imran entered the gate of the IHC, contingents of paramilitary forces and armoured personnel carriers entered after him. The gate was blocked by the armoured vehicles while Mr Khan was whisked away shortly under heavy security, the witness added. 

Footage of the arrest shared by the PTI showed scores of security personnel in riot-control gear whisking Mr Khan away in a van. Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the arrest. 

Mr Khan's graft case is one of over 100 cases registered against him since he was ousted from power in a parliamentary vote in April last year. He served four of his five-year term. Previous attempts to arrest him in Lahore resulted in heavy clashes between his supporters and law-enforcement personnel.

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

The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Mr Khan would be brought to appear before an anti-graft tribunal later on Tuesday. 

- Islamabad IGP, additional secretary interior appear before IHC - 

Meanwhile, Islamabad IGP Akbar Nasir Khan appeared before the IHC and said Imran Khan was arrested through a legal process. He added that the NAB could seek the help of any force for its operation. 

The court expressed displeasure over the non-appearance of the secretary interior. The court was adjourned for half an hour with the summoning of NAB's Rawalpindi DG and prosecutor general. After a brief hiatus, the court started the proceedings. The DG NAB Rawalpindi and prosecutor general appeared in the court and respond to the IHC chief justice questions.

Meanwhile, Imran Khan will be presented before the accountability court judge for the physical remand tomorrow (Wednesday).

- Medical boards constituted for checkup - 

A seven-member medical team was constituted for the medical examination of Imran Khan. The team is headed by Dr Faridullah and it would present its report so that Imran Khan should remain in NAB office or shifted to the Polyclinic Hospital. 

Another medical board of the PIMS was constituted to examine Imran Khan.

- Govt claim - 

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said Imran had failed to appear before the court despite several notices. He said the arrest had been conducted by the National Accountability Bureau for causing losses worth billions to the national treasury.

- PTI leaders give protest call - 

Hammad Azhar said Imran Khan's detention was unacceptable and urged the nation to come to streets.

PTI's leader Zartaj Gul Wazir also led the protest in Dera Ghazi Khan.

- PTI for legal response to Khan’s arrest - 

The PTI, following the arrest of Imran Khan, decided to utilise the legal method for the release of Imran Khan. “In this regard, a six-member committee, headed by Shah Mahmood Qureshi, has been formed,” said PTI Secretary General Asad Umar.

Meanwhile, Shah Mahmood Qureshi termed the arrest unacceptable and decided to adopt a legal method for the release of Imran Khan. He added all citizens were concerned over the well-being of Imran Khan. 

- Al-Qadir Trust case - 

Imran Khan, his wife Bushra Bibi and their close aides Zulfiqar Bukhari and Babar Awan are allegedly involved in the Al-Qadir University Project Trust. Documents reveal that Mr Khan, Bushra Bibi, Mr Bukhari and Mr Awan formed the trust to set up ‘Al-Qadir University’ for imparting ‘quality education’ in Jhelum's Sohawa tehsil.

The office address of the trust has been mentioned as “Bani Gala House, Islamabad”. 

Later, documents say, the trustees signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a private company involved in real estate business to receive donations from the latter. The company allotted land measuring 458 kanal, 4 marla, 58 square feet to the trust. Fulfilling paper formalities, Bushra Bibi signed the MoU effective from March 2019.