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Pakistan’s former PM Imran Khan arrested in Islamabad

The former prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has been arrested by the military as he appeared in court in Islamabad to face charges in a corruption case.

Fawad Chaudhry, a senior official with Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, said the 72-year-old was arrested on Tuesday on the premises of the court by agents from the National Accountability Bureau, the country’s anti-corruption body.

Shortly after Khan entered through the gate of the Islamabad high court, contingents of paramilitary forces and armoured personnel carriers entered after him. The gate was blocked by the armoured vehicles and Khan was whisked away under heavy security.

Khan was ousted as prime minister in a no-confidence vote in April last year. He has claimed his removal was illegal and a western conspiracy and has campaigned against the government of his successor Shehbaz Sharif, demanding early elections.

Chaudhry said Khan was dragged out of the court and into a police vehicle. He said the former prime minister was in the custody of the security forces. He denounced the arrest as “an abduction”.

Pakistan’s independent GEO TV broadcast images of Khan being pulled by security forces towards an armoured vehicle, which took him away. Afterwards a scuffle broke out between Khan’s supporters and police. Chaudhry said some of Khan’s lawyers and supporters were injured, as were several police officers.

Khan’s party immediately complained to the Islamabad high court, which requested a police report explaining the charges for his arrest.

Officials from the anti-corruption body said that Pakistan’s National Accountability Bureau had issued arrest warrants for Khan last week in a separate graft case, for which he had not obtained bail — something that would protect him from arrest under the country’s laws.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Khan would be brought to appear before an anti-corruption tribunal later on Tuesday.

There were no other official statements from the government on the arrest.

Khan had arrived in Islamabad earlier in the day from the nearby city of Lahore, where he resides, to face charges before the Islamabad high court in multiple corruption cases against him. He has claimed the string of cases, which include terrorism charges, are a plot by Sharif’s government to discredit the former cricket star turned Islamist politician.

The Gaurdian

Prevail Inegbenose

Prevail Inegbenose is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Spark Media & Entertainment Ventures, the Publisher of Spark News Daily - Nigeria's most sought-after online newspaper in Government, Politics, Sport, Entertainment and Religion. Prevail Inegbenose studied Mass Communication from the prestigious Auchi Polytechnic Auchi and graduated in 2007. He is an experienced journalist with 16 years of active and practical journalism. Prevail Inegbenose is the Lead Pastor, House of God Int'l - Rest Tabernacle, Abuja - Nigeria. Tel: 08039564796.

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