FILE PHOTO: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks throughout an interview with Reuters in Islamabad, Pakistan June 4, 2021.
Saiyna Bashir | Reuters
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was arrested at a courtroom within the capital Islamabad by paramilitary officers Tuesday. Footage of the arrest exhibits dozens of paramilitary personnel surrounding Khan and pushing him into an armored car earlier than driving him away.
Khan, who heads Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), one of many nation’s largest political events, was on the Islamabad Excessive Court docket to attend hearings for his bail purposes regarding corruption instances towards him, which he says are politically motivated.
The arrest follows latest tense exchanges between Khan, the previous nationwide cricket captain who grew to become Pakistan’s prime minister in 2018, and the nation’s highly effective military.
After surviving an assassination try final November, Khan accused a senior navy officer and Pakistan’s present Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif of being behind the try.
A military spokesperson censured Khan this week for “extremely irresponsible and baseless allegations towards a serving senior navy officer with none proof,” to which Khan replied by way of video assertion Tuesday: “That is my military and my Pakistan. I need not lie.”
The navy spokesperson warned of authorized motion if Khan retains up his accusations. Regarding the opportunity of arrest, Khan mentioned, “If somebody has a warrant, they need to straight carry it to me. Deliver the warrant, my lawyer will probably be there. I am able to go to the jail myself.”
The 70-year-old Khan, who stays massively common throughout the nation of 230 million, was ousted from energy in April of 2022 after a no-confidence vote by opposition lawmakers alleging corruption and unconstitutional actions. The fees have been backed up by the nation’s Supreme Court docket.
Ousted Pakistan’s prime minister Imran Khan (C) waves at his get together supporters throughout a rally in Islamabad on Might 26, 2022.
Aamir Qureshi | Afp | Getty Photographs
In October, Pakistan’s election fee handed a ruling barring Khan from holding workplace once more, sparking outrage amongst his many supporters who declare foul play.
Khan and his supporters mentioned final yr that his ousting was a conspiracy deliberate by present Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and the USA, the latter of which has a protracted and sophisticated relationship with the Pakistani authorities. Sharif and Washington denied the accusations.
Khan’s authorized troubles solely appear to have made him extra common amongst his base, who imagine he’ll make a comeback and change into prime minister once more in elections to be held later this yr. Some political analysts see him as a possible favourite as effectively, and plenty of anticipate the fees towards him to be dropped.
Khan is without doubt one of the most well-known figures in Pakistan and the broader South Asian area, recognized for main Pakistan’s nationwide cricket staff to glory within the Nineteen Eighties and 90s. He later transitioned to politics, founding the PTI in 1996.
Khan’s political profession was marked by losses till his get together, working on a populist platform, gained probably the most seats in Pakistan’s Nationwide Meeting in 2018 and he led the governing coalition as prime minister.