Violence Erupts in Pakistan After Former PM Imran Khan's Arrest: Key Highlights

Khan was arrested in connection with the Al-Qadir Trust Case.

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Video Producer/Editor: Shohini Bose

Several regions of Pakistan erupted into violence after the country's former Prime Minister Imran Khan was taken into custody by Rangers outside the Islamabad High Court on Tuesday, 9 May.

Khan was arrested in connection with the Al-Qadir Trust Case. Soon after, supporters of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief reportedly stormed several army buildings and staged massive protests.

Amid the turmoil, here are the key developments following Khan's arrest.

However, if you're unfamiliar with the Al-Qadir Trust Case, click the expandable tab to know more.

  1. The Al-Qadir Trust Case

    The former prime minister, along with his wife Bushra Bibi and other leaders from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, is under investigation by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for a settlement involving a property tycoon that reportedly resulted in a loss of 190 million pounds to the national treasury.

    The charges against Khan and the other accused include allegations of adjusting Rs 50 billion (equivalent to 190 million pounds at the time) sent by the National Crime Agency (NCA) of the United Kingdom to the Pakistani government.

    They are also accused of receiving undue advantages in the form of 458 kanals (unit of area used in Pakistan, about 500 sq meters) of land at Mouza Bakrala, Sohawa, which were used to establish Al Qadir University.


Key Highlights on Imran Khan's Arrest

1. Arrest deemed legal: Hours after Khan was arrested, the Islamabad High Court declared the move legal and a short written order is awaited on the court's decision, which was reserved earlier today.

Chief Justice Aamer Farooq made the observation that if the PTI chief was illegally arrested, "he will have to be released."

2. Khan's video message: After his arrest, PTI posted a clip of Khan addressing the public via its social media handles.

"Till the time these words of mine reach you, I will be arrested in a baseless case. This shows that fundamental rights and democracy in Pakistan have been buried," Khan said in the video.

3. Protests in Islamabad: After news of Khan's arrest spread, Islamabad saw massive protests and demonstrations, injuring five police officers in the process.

Authorities added that close to 50 protestors have been arrested for violating the law in the city, which also saw several bouts of stone pelting.

The police also imposed Section 144 in Islamabad following PTI chairman's arrest and warned of action in case of any violations.

4. Supporters storm Pakistan Army Commander's Homes in Lahore: Local media reported that several protesters stormed the compounds of Pakistan Army commanders' homes in Lahore.

Visuals from the ground show a large crowd waving PTI flags outside a corps commander's home in Lahore. Moreover, a group of men, some with sticks, entered a gated premises and destroyed the property. Some portions of the compound were set on fire as well.

Meanwhile, in another video, a supporter of Khan proudly ate a "frozen strawberry," which she claimed was raided from the corps commander's deep freezer.


5. PTI Sindh chief "abducted" in Karachi: Khan's PTI claimed that Ali Haider Zaidi, the president of the party's Sindh chapter was "abducted" by authorities in Karachi.

Senior Superintendent of Police Asad Raza told confirmed to Dawn that 23 party workers were arrested in Karachi, but did not shed light on whether Zaidi was one of them.

He claimed that police stopped party workers trying to protest, and were met with stone pelting, which allegedly led to three police officers getting injured.

“Police retaliated by tear gas shelling and arrested 23 workers while others were dispersed,” he said.

6. Protest at Frontier Corps HQ in Peshawar: Images shared on Twitter showed PTI supporters gathered outside the Pakistan Frontier Corps' headquarters in Peshawar during a protest. Demonstrators have also blocked at least two roads across the city as protest continue to intensify.

Meanwhile, Section 144 was imposed in Peshawar for 30 days, Deputy Commissioner Shah Fahad said.

7. Internet restrictions across Pakistan: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority said that it had suspended mobile broadband across the country after being instructed by Pakistan's interior ministry.

Netblocks, an organisation tracking internet outages, said that access to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube was restricted across the country after Khan's arrest and added that it had observed "total internet shutdowns" in sone regions of Pakistan.

Amnesty International called on the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to restore mobile internet services in the country and also to allow access to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.


8. Demonstration outside Pakistan High Commission in London: Supporters of Khan's PTI have staged a protest outside the have High Commission for Pakistan in London, with some declaring a hunger strike that ends only when Khan is released.

The "urgent call for protest by PTI London" was called on by the chapter's Information Secretary Sidra Hijaz.

Doctors from Rising Pakistan Forum also joined the PTI London Protest outside the high commission.

Meanwhile, UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly spoke during a visit to the United States and said that Britain wants to see peaceful democracy in Pakistan.

“We want to see peaceful democracy in that country. We want to see the rule of law adhered to. I’m uncomfortable to speculate any further without having a detailed briefing on that,” Cleverly said when asked about Khan's arrest.

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Topics:  Pakistan   Imran Khan   Pakistan protests 

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