- The National Accountability Bureau arrested former PM through Rangers personnel in Al-Qadir Trust case
ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB), on Tuesday, arrested the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and ex-premier Imran Khan through Rangers personnel in Al-Qadir Trust case, which led to massive protests across twin cities like in other parts of the country.
A heavy contingent of Rangers took Khan into custody from the biometric room of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), where he was present for biometric verification in two cases registered against him.
Later, the paramilitary troops shifted him to the NAB Rawalpindi office. During the arrest, Khan’s lawyers and guards also got injured as they were beaten up by the Rangers personnel.
Barrister Gohar Ali Khan, the counsel for Khan told the media that the Rangers personnel “tortured” Imran during the arrest.
“The troop hit Imran Khan on the head and injured leg,” he said, adding he, Ali Bukhari, and Ali Khan were present with Imran Khan at the time of arrest.
He further said that the contingent of Rangers barge through the glass and entered the diary branch. Rangers directly used pepper spray on him, Bukhari, and Ali Khan, on the occasion. All the officials at the scene belonged to Rangers, he said.
According to the summon notice issued by NAB dated May 1, Imran Khan is accused of commission of the offence of corruption and corrupt practices under section 9 (a) of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 and schedule thereto, I; therefore, in the exercise of power under section 34-A read with 18(a) and 24 (a) of the ordinance direct arrest of said accused. Said accused after arrest shall be produced before the court for authorization of detention for such period as may be necessary for finalisation of the inquiry and investigation, it says.
Following the arrest of Khan, the anti-graft body issued a press release, saying that the NAB Rawalpindi had taken Imran Khan into custody on a charge of corruption in the Al-Qadir Trust.
The NAB had issued notices in the said case to Khan but he did not give appropriate response to the summon notices of the bureau, it says. The former premier has been arrested as per the NAB ordinance and law.
Islamabad police also released a statement quoting Inspector General (IG) Akbar Nasir as saying that Imran had been arrested in connection with the Al-Qadir Trust case. After shifting Khan to NAB Rawalpindi, the bureau requested a federal government hospital commonly known as Poly Clinic Hospital for carrying out a medical examination of the PTI chairman.
Following the NAB’s request, the hospital constituted a seven-member medical board headed by Dr Fareed Allah Shah. The medical team visited the NAB Rawalpindi and conducted a medical examination.
The NAB will present Khan before Accountability Court for obtaining his physical remand today (Wednesday).
Like other parts of the country, the PTI workers in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi took to the streets following the arrest of Khan. The PTI workers also staged a protest demonstration at D-Chowk, Islamabad.
A large number of PTI workers staged protests at Murree Road and Faizabad. Police resorted to teargas shelling to disperse them. Footage on social media showed that PTI workers marched toward General Headquarters in Rawalpindi (GHQ) and reportedly entered it through one of the gates which was not properly manned.
The PTI workers blocked the Srinagar Highway, Expressway, Tarnol, 26 number Chungi GT Road and other parts of the city for traffic. In some areas, police used teargas shells against the protesters and arrested scores of PTI workers. Similarly, police arrested the PTI workers at Faizabad and outside the NAB Rawalpindi’s office. The protests of the PTI workers continued till the filing of this report.
Meanwhile, mobile internet services were also suspended in many cities across Pakistan. Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube services were completely suspended.
Reuters adds: clashes erupted between Khan supporters and police, killing at least one protester.
Dozens of paramilitary troops in riot-control gear surrounded Khan - Pakistan’s most popular leader according to opinion polls - and led him into a black van by his arm.
Authorities in three of four provinces imposed an emergency order banning all gatherings after Khan’s supporters clashed with police, blocked major roads in a string of cities and stormed military buildings in Lahore and Rawalpindi, according to witnesses and videos shared by his party.
The clashes killed one of the protesters and injured 12 people, including six police officers in the Quetta, home minister Ziaullah Langove said.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023