Imran Khan arrested for corruption, causing loss to treasury: Pak minister

Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Tuesday said that former prime minister Imran Khan was arrested for causing loss to the national treasury in a corruption case.

Providing details on the arrest of the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) outside the Islamabad high court, he also dismissed reports of torture of the 70-year-old leader during his arrest by paramilitary Rangers.

Khan, who travelled from Lahore to the federal capital Islamabad, was arrested by on Tuesday while he was present at the court for the hearing of a corruption case, a day after he took on the country’s powerful army for allegedly hatching a plot to kill him.

“The arrest has been made by the NAB in the Al-Qadir Trust case,” Sanaullah said, adding that the arrest was made on merit and Khan was in the custody of the anti-graft watchdog.

Sanaullah said that the UK authorities in a money-laundering case had confiscated 190 million pound or Rs 60 billion money of a Pakistani property tycoon with the objective to transfer it to the government of Pakistan.

However, Khan allowed the tycoon to get the money back rather than depositing it in the state and use it to pay a fine imposed by the Supreme Court in another case.

The tycoon in return provided 23.1 hectare (458-kanals) in Sohawa in Jhelum district and 12.1 hectare (240 kanals) in Banigala near Islamabad to the Al-Qadir Trust.

The minister also claimed that the Al-Qadir Trust was registered in the name of Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi and her close friend Farah Gogi. He also claimed that the worth of the property was about 6-7 billion rupees. “Khan caused a huge loss to the state treasury,” he said, and urged the court to return the same money to the government.

He also accused Khan of playing in the foreign hands and issuing statements against the state institutions. “Khan is an ally of the enemies of the country and trying to damage the country,” he said.

The minister said that paramilitary Rangers was legally performing its duty when its officials carried out the arrest. He said that the government had nothing to do with the arrest which was carried out on the orders of the NAB.

He said that there were “dozens” of other cases with corruption inquiries in progress against the former premier.

“No sort of torture was inflicted on him (Khan),” the interior minister said.

The PTI party led by Khan recently submitted a list of cases to the Islamabad high court (IHC). The list states that 31 cases have been registered against Khan in the federal capital and 30 cases and call-up notices have been issued in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province.

These cases are related to various charges like treason, blasphemy, committing and inciting violence and terrorism.

According to the list, 12 cases of terrorism have been registered against Khan in Lahore and 14 cases have been registered in Faisalabad. Some 22 terrorism cases have been registered against Imran Khan across the country.

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.

Currently, Khan has said he is facing over 140 cases related to terrorism, blasphemy, murder, violence, inciting to violence. 

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