Pakistan’s Top Court Declares Arrest of Former PM Imran Khan “Illegal,” Orders Immediate Release


In a significant development, Pakistan’s highest court has deemed the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan “illegal,” leading to his prompt release. The court ruling followed Khan’s appearance before the three-member bench, where he alleged that he had been “abducted” and subjected to physical assault with sticks.

The bench, composed of Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, and Justice Athar Minallah, expressed strong disapproval of the manner in which Khan was apprehended from the premises of the Islamabad high court. Chief Justice Bandial denounced the arrest as a disgrace to the country’s judicial establishment.

Khan, accompanied by a convoy of 15 vehicles and tight security measures, was presented before the court. As he entered the courtroom, the doors were closed, and the bench subsequently commenced the hearing.

Acknowledging Khan’s claim of an illegal arrest, Chief Justice Bandial stated, “We believe that Imran Khan’s arrest was illegal.” In addition, he urged Khan to appeal to his supporters for peaceful conduct amidst the widespread violent protests that erupted following the PTI chief’s detention. Khan, assuring the court of his party workers’ peaceful behavior, pledged that no harm would be inflicted upon the country, as he remained unaware of the events subsequent to his arrest.

The arrest of the 70-year-old cricketer-turned-politician had been ordered by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in connection with a corruption case. Pakistan’s paramilitary Rangers stormed into a room at the Islamabad high court where Khan was present for biometric verification before the corruption hearing.

Expressing concern over the entry of approximately 90 to 100 Rangers personnel into the court for Khan’s arrest, the chief justice questioned, “What dignity remains of the court if 90 people entered its premises? How can any individual be arrested from court premises?”

This court decision has significant implications for Imran Khan, as it not only declares his arrest illegal but also highlights the breach of judicial sanctity. The ruling serves as a scathing indictment of the law enforcement agencies involved in his detention and raises questions about the erosion of institutional integrity. The immediate release of Khan further intensifies the ongoing political turmoil and sparks concerns about the rule of law and accountability in Pakistan.

As the country absorbs the aftermath of these events, it remains to be seen how the political landscape will evolve and whether this verdict will have far-reaching consequences for both Imran Khan and the credibility of Pakistan’s judiciary.


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