Pakistan’s Supreme Court rules Imran Khan’s Arrest ‘Illegal’

Pakistan’s Supreme Court has ruled Imran Khan’s arrest “illegal” and ordered for him to be released immediately.

Imran Khan facing Removal as Pakistan's Prime Minister?

“How can any individual be arrested from court premises?”

Pakistan’s Supreme Court has ordered for Imran Khan to be released immediately after his arrest was deemed illegal.

Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial ruled that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) acted in violation of the law by arresting Khan at the Islamabad High Court without permission and that such actions would have a “chilling effect”.

Imran Khan was arrested by Pakistani Rangers on May 9, 2023, on corruption charges.

Bandial said Khan had already surrendered to the court when almost 100 officers had barged in and detained him, and declared Khan’s arrest illegal and in contempt of court.

He asked: “What dignity remains of the court if 90 people entered its premises?

“How can any individual be arrested from court premises?”

Amid heavy security, Khan was brought before the court and addressed by the judge before orders were given for his immediate release.

Bandial said: “There have been incidents of violence after your arrest. We want peace in the country.”

Five PTI leaders have been arrested, including spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who served as foreign minister in Khan’s cabinet, was picked up by police, as well as the senior PTI leaders Ali Muhammad Khan and Ejaz Chaudhry. PTI’s former finance minister Asad Umar was also arrested on May 10.

Islamabad police said the PTI leaders had been arrested “for inciting arson and violent protests under a well-thought-out plan for threatening peace”.

Seven cases have also been filed against PTI’s top leaders, including Khan, for an attack that took place by supporters on the home of a senior military officer.

Violence has continued to erupt across Pakistan. At least nine people have been killed and dozens more have injuries.

According to PTI leaders, Khan’s arrest is political persecution by the government and the powerful military establishment.

Imran Khan had enjoyed a close relationship with the military while he was PM.

But after his removal from office, he became highly critical of the top military leaders and accused them of colluding with foreign powers to orchestrate his downfall and of attempting to assassinate him. The military has denied all of his accusations.

Khan’s supporters and PTI leaders vowed to stay on the streets until he was released.

As the unrest continued, army officers were deployed across Islamabad, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Among the buildings attacked by protestors was the Lahore residence of current PM Shahbaz Sharif.

In an address to the nation, Sharif issued a warning. He said:

“These terrorist and anti-state elements are being warned to desist from taking the law into their hands, otherwise they will be dealt with iron hands.

“Safeguarding the motherland and its ideology is more precious than their lives.”

In a statement addressing the unrest in Pakistan, the United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, called for “all parties to refrain from violence”.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

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