Former Pakistani PM Imran Khan arrested outside court

Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan has been arrested by paramilitary officers, his aide says, as his supporters depict the detention as “abduction”.

According to local broadcaster Geo TV, Khan was taken into custody at a court in Islamabad for a corruption case on Tuesday.

Musarrat Jamshed Cheema, a leader of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) political party, confirmed Khan’s arrest. “He went for his biometrics procedure from where he was picked by the Rangers,” she said, referring to the paramilitary force.

PTI described the operation as “abduction”, calling on people to take to the streets to protest over Khan’s detention. “Pakistan’s brave people must come out and defend their country,” the party said in a tweet.

Fawad Chaudhry of PTI party also reported that lawyers who were present at the scene were subjected to torture.

“Former PM Imran Khan has been abducted from Court premises, scores of lawyers and general people have been tortured, Imran Khan has been whisked away by unknown people to an unknown location,” Chaudhry said in a tweet.

Another member of PTI slammed the way cricketer-turned-politician Khan was arrested.

“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,” Shireen Mazari tweeted.

Khan’s graft case is one of over 100 cases registered against him since he was ousted by a no-confidence vote last year.

The former prime minister says he fears for his life if detained, and that authorities want him jailed to prevent him from contesting an election.

Last year, Khan was shot in the leg during a political rally, an assassination bid he blamed on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. Previous attempts to arrest Khan from his home in Lahore saw clashes between his supporters and security forces.

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