Imran Khan: Pakistan’s Supreme Court determines that his arrest was unlawful.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan has determined that former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s arrest on corruption accusations earlier this week was unlawful.
Mr Khan’s immediate release was ordered by the court. His lawyers contended that his removal from court grounds in Islamabad on Tuesday was illegal.
Since his arrest, at least ten people have been killed and 2,000 have been imprisoned as violent protests have swept the country.
The detention on Tuesday heightened tensions between him and the military.
On the instructions of Pakistan’s top judge, the opposition leader was taken to court after being removed in a confidence vote in April of last year.
“Your arrest was illegal, so the entire process must be reversed,” Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial told Mr Khan.
The former cricketer told the justices he’d been kidnapped and “hit with sticks” from the High Court.
Why was Imran Khan detained?
Paramilitary forces were seen taking Mr Khan, who was injured in a gun attack last year, and hauling him from the courtroom before whisking him away in an armored vehicle.
The cases against him, according to his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, are politically motivated. The detention infuriated his fans, who have witnessed extensive violence and uncommon attacks on state and military sites in the last 48 hours.
Seven prominent PTI leaders have been arrested. Former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi is among them, according to authorities, who “incited violence.” Mr Qureshi rejected this in a statement and asked supporters to maintain peaceful protests.
Mr Khan was deposed as prime minister less than four years into his tenure.
Many commentators believe Mr Khan’s election victory in 2018 was aided by the military. However, since his ouster, he has become one of the military’s most outspoken critics.
Mr Khan was wounded in the leg while leading a protest march in November 2022. He has blamed the attack on senior intelligence personnel, something the military has categorically refuted.