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Imran Khans Arrest Sparks Nationwide Protests in Pakistan

former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has been arrested by the paramilitary Rangers

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The latest developments in Pakistan as protests erupt following the arrest of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Big breaking news is coming from Pakistan, former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has been arrested by the paramilitary Rangers. Imran Khan was arrested on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, while he was attending a hearing in a corruption case at the Islamabad High Court (IHC). He was taken into custody by the Rangers from the court premises without any warrant or explanation. His arrest sparked outrage among his supporters and criticism from his political opponents.

The corruption case that Imran Khan was facing is related to the Al-Qadir Trust, a project that he and his wife Bushra Bibi initiated to set up a university in the Jhelum district of Punjab province. The trust received donations from a real estate developer, Bahria Town, which gave 458 kanals of land to the trust in 2019. However, according to the allegations, Imran Khan transferred 240 kanals of the donated land to his wife’s friend Farah Gogi, undervaluing the land and receiving his share in the name of the university.

The trust also received ₹ 50 billion from the British National Crime Agency (NCA) as part of a settlement with a tycoon Malik Riaz, who was accused of laundering money in the UK. The NCA seized 190 million pounds from Malik Riaz in 2019 and sent it to Pakistan in 2022. Imran Khan allegedly adjusted this amount in the trust’s accounts without disclosing it to the authorities.

Imran Khan has denied all the charges and claimed that he is being victimized by the military establishment for speaking out against them. He accused a senior intelligence officer of plotting to assassinate him and released a video message hours before his arrest, reiterating his allegations. He also said that he has evidence to prove his innocence and that he will not bow down to any pressure.

Imran Khan’s arrest has raised serious questions about the rule of law and democracy in Pakistan. Many observers have expressed concern over the role of the Rangers, a paramilitary force that operates under the interior ministry, in arresting a former prime minister without any legal basis. The IHC chief justice summoned the Islamabad police chief, the interior ministry secretary, and the additional attorney general to explain why Imran Khan was arrested and in which case. The court also ordered his immediate release on bail.

The arrest of former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday has triggered widespread protests and demonstrations by his supporters across the country. Khan, who was ousted from power in a parliamentary vote in April last year, is facing multiple corruption and terrorism charges, which he denies as politically motivated.

His party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has condemned his arrest and called it an abduction. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), claimed that he was whisked away by unknown people to an unknown location and called for nationwide protests against his detention. The party has announced nationwide protests and rallies to demand his release and justice. The party has also appealed to the international community to take notice of the situation and intervene to protect democracy and human rights in Pakistan.

In a pre-recorded video message, Khan urged his supporters to come out on the streets and save the country from what he called a “conspiracy” by the current government and the military establishment. He said he may not get another chance to address them again as he would be “closed inside in an unlawful case”.

The arrest of Khan has escalated the political crisis in Pakistan, where he has been openly challenging the powerful military and the government of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, accusing them of orchestrating his removal from office. The military on Monday accused Khan of making false allegations against a senior intelligence official.

Khan, a former cricket star, has staged a comeback since his ouster, drawing large crowds at his rallies and gaining popularity among his loyal supporters. He has demanded fresh elections and vowed to expose the corruption and mismanagement of the ruling party.

The arrest of Khan has also raised fears of mass unrest and violence in the nuclear-armed country, where political instability and economic woes have been compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic. Khan’s supporters have tried to block major highways in Islamabad and Lahore, while clashes have been reported between them and security forces in some areas.

The international community has expressed concern over the arrest of Khan and urged all parties to exercise restraint and respect the rule of law. The United States, which considers Pakistan a key ally in the region, said it was closely monitoring the situation and hoped for a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

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