Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024


Imran Khan is in the custody of Pakistan’s National Accountability Bureau (NAB)

New Delhi:

Imran Khan’s arrest by Pakistan’s top anti-corruption body is illegal and he should be released immediately, the country’s Supreme Court said today amid violent protests by supporters of the former Prime Minister who faces corruption allegations. Mr Khan is under the custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The order to bring Mr Khan, 70, to the Supreme Court was issued by a three-member bench of Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Athar Minallah.

The Supreme Court, after hearing Mr Khan’s request for relief, strongly criticised the NAB for arresting the former Prime Minister from the Islamabad High Court’s premises, where he had come to appear in a case.

The Supreme Court said Mr Khan should return to the Islamabad High Court and follow whatever the high court decides.

Mr Khan heads the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.

Chief Justice Bandial said a person cannot be arrested from the court premises without the permission of the registrar. “If an individual surrendered to the court, then what does arresting them mean?” the Chief Justice said, according to news agency Press Trust of India.

Mr Khan has alleged he was tortured in the NAB custody and was not allowed to even use the washroom. The former cricketing superstar, who remains popular in Pakistan, alleged he was given an injection to induce a slow heart attack.

Mr Khan’s arrest follows months of political crisis and came hours after the powerful military rebuked the former international cricketer for alleging that a senior officer had been involved in a plot to kill him.

Some protesters took out their wrath on the military, torching the residence of the corps commander in Lahore and laying siege at the entrance to the army’s general headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

Pakistan politicians have frequently been arrested and jailed since the country’s founding in 1947, but few have so directly challenged a military that has staged at least three coups and had ruled for more than three decades.


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