Arrest of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan was illegal, top court rules

Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan was illegal, two days after his detention sparked nationwide protests and deadly clashes. One of Khan’s aides said he remained in the custody of the Supreme Court for his own safety and that he will make another appearance on Friday.

Khan was arrested on corruption charges by paramilitary troops on Tuesday in a sudden operation in which officers forced their way into a courthouse in the capital Islamabad to arrest him. He was then held at a guest house inside the police headquarters where he appeared on Wednesday for a special closed-door hearing before a judge before being held in custody for eight days on a charge brought by Pakistan’s anti-corruption agency.

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Arrest of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan was illegal

Khan’s lawyers had requested that legal proceedings against his client not be held at police headquarters rather than in court. After his arrest, eight people died and hundreds were arrested when protests pitting his supporters against army supporters turned violent. The former prime minister is accused of illegally acquiring land to build a university and he has also been charged in a separate case with illegally selling gifts sent to him by foreign leaders while he was in office.


In a pre-recorded statement posted on YouTube by Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) political party after his arrest, the former prime minister said he was “arrested on wrong charges” and told supporters that “the time has come. It’s time for everyone to come and fight for their rights.”

The arrest of the 70-year-old cricketer-turned-politician escalated what was already a tense standoff between the army and Khan’s supporters that had been brewing for months.

The largest protests took place in the cities of Lahore and Peshawar, both Khan’s political strongholds, and there were crowd clashes with security forces. Hundreds of protesters stormed the headquarters of the national radio station Radio Pakistan in Peshawar and set the building on fire.


More than 300 people have been injured, according to authorities. At least 650 people were also detained in Khyber Pakhunkhwa province, a government official who asked not to be named told CNN on Thursday. Police said nearly 1,000 Khan supporters had been arrested in Punjab province, the country’s most populous, according to Reuters.

Private schools across the country have been ordered closed, and certain countries, including the United States, have issued travel advisories. The government blocked mobile internet services in an attempt to quell the chaos, cutting off access to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Popular apps and digital payment systems have also been affected.Read More……

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