Officials in Pakistan arrested former Prime Minister Imran Khan on May 9 over multiple charges of corruption, party officials say.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) brought Khan into custody, the Associated Press (AP) reported, citing senior Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party official Fawad Chaudhry. The Bureau allegedly “dragged” the 70-year-old ex-leader to an armored vehicle before driving away. Reportedly denouncing the arrest as an “abduction,” Chaudhry said some of Khan’s lawyers and supporters were injured during the incident, along with a number of policemen, according to the outlet.
They have badly pushed injured Imran Khan. Pakistan’s people, this is the time to save your country. You won’t get any other opportunity. pic.twitter.com/Glo5cmvksd
— PTI (@PTIofficial) May 9, 2023
Pakistan’s lawmakers voted to remove Khan in April 2022 in a no-confidence vote. Khan had promised to take on corruption and cronyism within Pakistan’s government when he came to power in 2018, German news outlet Deutsche Welle (DW) reported. During his tenure, however, Khan faced rising inflation, high unemployment, a weakening currency and debt, giving fodder to his opponents who accused him of financial mismanagement and chided him for foreign policy errors.
Khan claimed the vote to remove him was derived from a Western conspiracy and illegal, demanding early elections against his successor Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, according to AP.
The ex-leader’s detainment spurred an immediate complaint from the former prime minister’s party, who petitioned the Islamabad High Court for a police report explaining the charges behind Khan’s arrest, the outlet reported. Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said the NAB arrested Khan because he did not appear before it “despite notices,” Reuters reported.
If convicted of the more than 100 cases reportedly leveled against him, Khan will be barred from holding office again, according to the outlet. (RELATED: Hundreds Of Pakistanis Shower Former Prime Minister Imran Khan With Flowers As He Heads To Court For Terrorism Charges)
The former prime minister’s arrest has spurred calls for protest throughout Pakistan by Khan’s PTI party. “Pakistan’s people, this is the time to save your country. You won’t get any other opportunity,” the party wrote Tuesday on Twitter.