On 9th May 2023, the former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was arrested from the courthouse where he had to appear, by a unit of the Pakistan Armed forces. The arrest has caused mayhem in the country, with some citizens even asking for Indian Army to come and deal with the Pakistani Army.  The internet is abuzz with numerous incidents of arson, damage to public property, roadblocks etc.  The angry protestors have attacked houses of senior Army officials as well as the current Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.  The Army in turn has resorted to firing at the citizens and in some cases, beating the to death.  The total number of lives lost will become clearer as the day goes by.  But in the meantime, here is some background on why Imran Khan has been arrested.

The arrest took place on the behest of National Accountability Bureau, where a warrant was issued by the NAB Chairman on 1st May 2023. The warrants, which are addressed to the IG Punjab as well as NAB officials in Rawalpindi and Lahore, state that Imran Khan is accused of corruption and misappropriation of funds in the Al Qadir Trust case, under section 9A of the NAB Ordinance 1999. The arrest of Imran Khan took place under sections 34 A, 18 A and 24 A of the NAB Ordinance.

According to the NAB, Pakistan estate tycoon Malik Riaz ‘donated’ more than 458 Kanal (2,31,683 square meters) land to the Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi, to build the Al Qadir Trust University in district Jehlum, Punjab. In exchange for this, Imran Khan allegedly allowed Malik Riaz to make a profit of 50 billion through other means. And what were these means? In 2019, the British National Investigation Authority had agreed to settlement with Malik Riaz, and ordered him to return 190 million pounds to the state of Pakistan.  This money, however, was paid as an installment to the Pakistan Supreme Court, for a separate matter, where Riaz was supposed to pay PKR 460 billion.  Hence, the money owed to Pakistan was legalised to be paid to Malik Riaz in return for the land he gave for Al Qadir Trust. This NGO had only 2 trustees, Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi. Additionally, Imran Kan’s wife Bushra Bibi received a 5 karat diamond after refusing to agree to a 3 karat one, which was given to her by Malik Riaz’ family.  This news became public after a leaked audio of a phone call between Malik Riaz and his daughter surfaced in 2022.

Interestingly, the name of the original culprit Malik Riaz is not mentioned anywhere in the case, which points in the direction of the government and its institutions manipulating the sentiments of the public.  Regardless of all that is going on in courts, jails and at government forums, the videos available on social media have made one thing very clear. Pakistan is not a safe place to live for any human being.

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