8 killed in crackdown on Imran Khan supporters, former FM arrested
Islamabad Police arrest Tehreek-e-Insaf Vice Chairman Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi and transfer him to an unknown location.
Former Pakistan Foreign Minister, Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi, was arrested on Thursday by the Islamabad police, and he was taken to an unknown location.
“Tehreek-e-Insaf Vice Chairman Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi has been arrested by the Islamabad Police and transferred to an unknown location,” the party tweeted on Thursday, The Print reported.
The PTI leader was taken into custody from the Gilgit-Baltistan House in Islamabad after a failed attempt by the police on Wednesday afternoon, according to Pakistan-based The Express Tribune newspaper.
Qureshi is wanted by the police in alleged cases of riots and arsons in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Before his arrest, Qureshi called upon PTI workers to keep up their struggle for true freedom in the country. In a message, he said he had no regrets as he had done nothing wrong.
In a related context and as an accountability court in Islamabad Court approved 8-day remand for former Pakistani Prime Minister and head of the opposition Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI) Imran Khan, cities across the country witnessed clashes between the police and Khan's supporters.
Local media reported at least eight people were killed and 290 were injured in light of the clashes.
This comes shortly after the Pakistani Interior Ministry announced that Islamabad was deploying its army units in the province.
The Interior Ministry underlined that the provincial authorities would decide the precise number of troops, along with the date and location of their deployment.
The government had already ordered the deployment of armed forces in the Punjab region earlier on Wednesday. Following the disturbances, 130 police officers suffered injuries in battles with the protesters, the police said, and close to 1,000 demonstrators were imprisoned in the province.
Khan appeared Wednesday in a special court at the capital's police headquarters, a day after his shock arrest prompted violent nationwide protests.
Khan's detention followed months of political crisis and came hours after the powerful military criticized the former PM for accusing a senior officer of being involved in a plot to assassinate him.
Footage shows the former #Pakistani prime minister #ImranKhan being arrested from outside the #Islamabad High Court over corruption allegations.— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) May 9, 2023
The Rangers had broken windows at the court to reach Khan in order to arrest him.
"There is no case on me. They want to put me in… pic.twitter.com/KZZ6zepvuI
The charge that led to Khan's arrest on Tuesday was brought by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the country's top anti-corruption body, which claimed that the former PM had ignored repeated summons to appear in court.
Khan has faced dozens of charges since being ousted in April. He could be barred from holding public office if convicted, which would exclude him from elections scheduled for later this year.
His arrest came a day after the military warned him against making "baseless allegations" after he again accused a senior officer of plotting to kill him.
The rebuke late Monday underscored how far Khan's relations have deteriorated with the military, which backed his rise to power in 2018 but withdrew its support ahead of a parliamentary vote of no confidence that ousted him last year.
Pakistan is deeply plunged into an economic and political crisis, with Khan pressuring the struggling coalition government for early elections.
Authorities ambushed the former PM during what was supposed to be a routine court appearance Tuesday. Khan, who has had a pronounced limp since being shot during an assassination attempt last year, was arrested by dozens of paramilitary rangers into an armored car inside the Islamabad High Court premises.
At a weekend rally in Lahore, Khan repeated accusations that senior intelligence officer Major-General Faisal Naseer was involved in an assassination attempt last year during which he was shot in the leg.
In response, the military's Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) wing claimed in a statement that "this fabricated and malicious allegation is extremely unfortunate, deplorable and unacceptable."