• Rawalpindi police arrest Imran over GHQ attack, sent on two-day remand in May 9 cases
• Accountability court dismisses his bail in Toshakhana, Al-Qadir Trust cases
• Former PM says he is being punished for ‘reining in powerful quarters’

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Imran Khan was arrested by Ra­w­a­lpindi police in at least a dozen cases pertaining to the May 9 violence, including the attack on the Gene­ral Headqua­rters (GHQ), as an accountability court in Islamabad ind­icted him and former first lady Bus­hra Bibi in the Toshakhana reference on Tuesday.

As per the charge sheet, the former PTI chairman retained 58 out of 108 gifts received from different heads of states during his tenure as the premier. The court charged Mr Khan with securing these gifts at ‘throwaway’ prices.

The judge adjourned further proceedings till Jan 11 in the Toshakhana reference and summoned 12 witnesses on the same date. It alleged that Bushra Bibi kept the exquisite and expensive jewellery set bypassing Toshakhana rules. The military secretary, however, had reported this gift in 2020.

As per the list of the prosecution, two senior army officers, including the ex-military secretary to the former premier, will testify in this case, whereas private appraiser Sohaib Abbasi has also become an approver against Mr Khan.

Witnesses named by the prosecution included Mr Khan’s ex-military secretary Brig Muhammad Ahmed, Deputy Military Secretary Colonel Rehan Mehmood, Toshakhana section officers Benaymin, Nida Rehman, NAB Addi­ti­onal Director Qaiser Mehmood, State Bank of Pakistan Joint Director Sajid Khan, Assistant Secretary Protocol Zahid Sarfraz Azam, Principal Appraiser Azeem Man­zoor, Appraiser Rabia Samad, Deputy Consulate General at Dubai Rahi­mullah, Counselor Att­ache Irfan Rafaqat, Moh­sin Habib Admin Assistant at the Dubai Consulate, former private secretary Syed Inamullah Shah, Magistrate Mohammad Abdullah, NAB officials Mohsin Haroon, Mustansar Imam Shah, and Hasnain Mustafa.

Talking to the media at Adiala Jail, Mr Khan said that he was being victimised for “reining in the powerful quarters”. He said that the witnesses against him included an office boy. In response to a question about PTI’s support for Sheikh Rashid, Mr Khan said that the party would make a decision soon.

On the other hand, the Rawalpindi Police arre­sted Imran Khan in connection with the May 9 protests. The anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Rawal­pindi granted a two-day phy­sical remand of Mr Khan and directed the pol­ice to investigate him at Adiala Jail.

Dismissal of bail plea

Accountability judge Mohammad Bashir on Tuesday dismissed the petitions of Mr Khan seeking post-arrest bail in the Toshakhana reference and Al-Qadir Trust case involving 190 million pounds. Likewise, the court adjourned proceedings in 190m pounds corruption case till Jan 17. Mr Khan and Bushra Bibi are likely to be indicted in this case on the said date.

In a related development, the written order of the same court regarding the attachment of the properties of property tycoon Malik Riaz, his son Ahmed Ali Riaz and other accused has been issued.

As per the court order, Malik Riaz’s six properties in Revenue Estate Kotha Kalan and Bimia Kanet in Rawalpindi and 11 bank accounts in Rawalpindi and Islamabad were attached.

‘Imran authored article’

Meanwhile, the PTI has issued a clarification regarding coverage of Mr Khan’s media talk regarding an essay published in The Economist. The spokesman stated that “the said piece has been authored by the PTI chairman-for-life” and “in no way, this has been compiled through the use of artificial means including artificial intelligence”.

Published in Dawn, January 10th, 2024

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