Former PM Imran Khan arrested in Pakistan: All you need to know

It drew nationwide condemnation from supporters of the popular opposition leader and former cricket star turned politician

By Web Desk

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Photo: AP
Photo: AP

Published: Tue 9 May 2023, 8:38 PM

Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan was arrested on Tuesday as he appeared in a court in the country’s capital, Islamabad, to face charges in multiple graft cases. Security agents were seen dragging Khan outside and into an armoured car before whisking him away.

The arrest, which marks a dramatic escalation on Pakistan's political scene, drew nationwide condemnation from supporters of the popular opposition leader and former cricket star turned politician.

Here's all you need to know:

Why was he arrested?

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah told reporters that Khan had been arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) after he ignored notices to turn himself in.

He said Khan and his wife were accused of having received, when he was still prime minister, land worth up to 7 billion rupees ($24.7 million) from a property developer who had been charged in Britain with money laundering.

Sanaullah added that British authorities had returned 190 million pounds ($240 million) to Pakistan in connection with money laundering, but that Khan had returned the money to the developer instead of keeping it in the national exchequer.

"Khan is accused of commission of the offence of corruption and corrupt practices," NAB said in a statement.

Khan has denied any wrongdoing.

Why the protests?

Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party called on supporters to "shut down Pakistan" over his arrest. PTI wrote on Twitter: "It’s your time, people of Pakistan. Khan has always stood for you, now its time to stand for him."

Where are the protests happening?

Hundreds of Khan supporters blocked streets in cities and major highways across the country, including in Khan's home town of Lahore and in northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province where police went on high alert and banned public gatherings.

A similar ban was imposed in the southwestern province of Balochistan where, in the capital Quetta, clashes between police and protesters injured at least 10 people, including six policemen, senior police official Zohaib Mohsin said.

Protesters also blocked major roads in the port city of Karachi and police fired tear gas at protesters in the capital Islamabad, according to Reuters witnesses.

(With inputs from agencies)


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