NEW DELHI : An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan on Tuesday approved former premier Imran Khan’s interim bail pleas for multiple cases, hours before the PTI chief was arrested at the Islamabad High Court by paramilitary Rangers.
ATC Judge Raja Jawad Abbas heard the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf: party chief’s pleas seeking bail in cases about the March 18 violence outside the Federal Judicial Complex here and approved Khan’s bail against bonds worth PKR 50,000 in all seven cases, the Dawn newspaper reported. The arrest comes a day after the country’s powerful army had accused Mr Khan of levelling baseless allegations against a senior officer of the spy agency ISI.
Hours before leaving for court, Imran Khan in a video tweeted by his party doubled down on his allegations against top ISI officer Major-General Faisal Naseer, who he says was involved in the assassination attempt against him in Wazirabad.
Imran Khan was arrested today just as he was entering the Islamabad High Court for a hearing in one of the dozens of cases pending since he was ousted from office last year. The 70-year-old former cricketer-turned-politician was taken into custody from the court premises by paramilitary forces; leaders from his party, Pakistan-Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), have alleged that the police entered the court, smashed the glass window of the room where his biometric data was being taken, and dragged him outside.
Imran Khan was arrested in the Qadir Trust case (which concerns allegations that Bahria Town allotted land worth millions to Al-Qadir Trust, owned by the PTI chairman Mr Khan and his wife), Islamabad Police tweeted in Urdu, adding that the situation is “normal”. However, The dramatic manner of the arrest has many questioning if the arrest was on the merits of the case alone.
The former PM has evaded arrest several times recently, including the dramatic escape from a police raid at his residence in Lahore’s Zaman Park. A video showing a swarm of paramilitary personnel surrounding Imran Khan and whisking him away to an armoured vehicle has gone viral on social media. Imran Khan’s party also shared the video, alleging he was “badly pushed”.”They have badly pushed injured (sic) Imran Khan. Pakistan’s people, this is the time to save your country. You won’t get any other opportunity,” it said.
Dawn newspaper reported that Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Aamer Farooq had directed the Islamabad police chief, the interior ministry secretary, and the additional attorney general to appear before it within 15 minutes. “The IHC CJ said that he was showing “restraint” and warned that he would “summon” the prime minister if the Islamabad police chief did not appear before the court,” Dawn further said.”Come to court and tell us why Imran has been arrested and in which case,” the Pakistani newspaper quoted Justice Farooq.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah today said that former prime minister Imran Khan was arrested for causing loss to the national treasury in a corruption case. Providing details on the arrest, he also dismissed reports of torture of the 70-year-old leader during his arrest by paramilitary Rangers. He said Khan was arrested by officials of the NAB specifically in the Al-Qadir Trust case, adding that there were “dozens” of other cases with corruption inquiries in progress against the former premier.
National public broadcaster Radio Pakistan’s building was set on fire as chaos erupted after the arrest of PTI chief and former prime minister Imran Khan in connection with the Al-Qadir trust case, according to local media. Official Twitter handle of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) shared a video of people coming from Lahore in large numbers and moving from Liberty towards Lahore cantonment area to protest against the arrest of Imran Khan.
(Bureau Report with Media Inputs).