•      Fri Jun 2 2023

Imran Khan taken into custody from outside IHC

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was arrested in Islamabad on May 9, 2023. (Photo: The Dawn)

Islamabad, May 9 (Dawn): In a shocking turn of events, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan, who was present at the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for two hearings on Tuesday afternoon, was taken into custody by the Rangers from the premises.

PTI lawyer Faisal Chaudhry confirmed the development to Dawn.com that prompted IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq to direct the Islamabad police chief, the interior ministry secretary and the additional attorney general to appear before the court 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.

“Come to court and tell us why Imran has been arrested and in which case,” Justice Farooq said.

A Reuters witness said shortly after Imran entered the gate of the IHC, contingents of paramilitary forces and armoured personnel carriers entered after him.

The gate was blocked by the armoured vehicles while Khan was whisked away shortly after under heavy security, the witness added.

The development comes on the heels of the military’s rejection of accusations Imran made against a serving senior intelligence officer. Imran had accused the officer of involvement in the assassination attempt against him in Wazirabad. Imran doubled down on the allegations in a video message today.

The former premier’s detention also follows several unsuccessful attempts, including a police raid at his residence in Lahore’s Zaman Park, to arrest him which he had managed to evade successfully.

‘Imran abducted, scores tortured’

PTI Vice President Fawad Chaudhry tweeted that the IHC has been “occupied by the Rangers” and lawyers “are being subjected to torture”.

“Imran Khan’s car has been surrounded,” he added.

In another tweet, Fawad alleged that Imran had been “abducted” from the court premises while score of lawyers and general people had been “tortured”.

“Imran Khan has been whisked away by unknown people to an unknown location,” he said.

PTI leader Hammad Azhar said that Imran’s arrest was “not acceptable” and asserted that the PTI chief “is our red line”. He called on the nation to take to the streets against Imran’s arrest.

PTI’s Azhar Mashwani alleged that Imran had been “abducted” from inside the court by Rangers. He said that the party had given an immediate call for staging protests in the country.

PTI leader Musarrat Cheema, in a video message on Twitter, said: “They are torturing Imran Khan right now […] they are beating Khan sahib. They have done something with Khan sahib.”

(Source: The Dawn)