Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan was on Tuesday arrested by paramilitary Rangers while he was present at the Islamabad High Court for the hearing of a corruption case, his party said.
The chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), who travelled from Lahore to the federal capital Islamabad, was taken into custody by the Rangers when he appeared in court on anti-graft charges, his PTI lawyer Faisal Chaudhry said.
His party confirmed the arrest of the 70-year-old former cricketer-turned-politician.
“Khan has been arrested in the Al-Qadeer trust case when he was present in the Islamabad High Court,” his party said in a brief statement.
The arrest comes a day after the powerful army had accused Khan of levelling baseless allegations against a senior army officer.
The PTI alleged that Khan was being tortured but it was not confirmed independently.
“State terrorism – breaking into IHC premises to abduct Imran Khan from court premises. Law of the jungle in operation. Rangers beat the lawyers, used violence on Imran Khan and abducted him,” tweeted former minister Shireen Mazari, a PTI spokeswoman.
Another PTI leader Azhar Mashwani alleged that Khan had been “abducted” from inside the court by the Rangers. He said that the party had given an immediate call for staging protests in the country.
“They are torturing Imran Khan right now […] they are beating Khan sahib. They have done something with Khan sahib,” Cheema said in a video message posted on the party’s Twitter handle.
Former information minister and PTI Vice President Fawad Chaudhry earlier said the court has been “occupied by the Rangers” and lawyers “are being subjected to torture”.
“Imran Khan’s car has been surrounded,” he added.
Khan has been facing a slew of cases since his ouster through a no trust vote in April last year. He has rejected all these cases as political victimisation by the ruling alliance.