UPDATE 3 - Pakistan's ex-Premier Khan arrested after sentenced to jail in corruption case
Imran Khan calls for peaceful protests
UPDATES WITH CONSTITUTIONAL ORDER ON HOLDING PUBLIC OFFICE, REPORTS OF PROTESTS, PTI STATEMENT
Riyaz Khaliq and Kiran Butt
ISTANBUL / LAHORE, Pakistan (AA) - Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday was arrested at his residence in Lahore after he was handed a jail term in a corruption case, said a senior leader of his party.
Farrukh Habib, former state minister for information, said on X, formerly Twitter, that the Punjab police arrested Khan, the chairman of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf (PTI), and will shift him later to Islamabad.
Khan now technically stands from holding any public office for at least five years, according to the Constitution.
His focal person on legal affairs, Naeem Haider, said the ex-premier was sentenced to three years in prison, along with a fine of one lakh rupees ($360) in the Toshakhana case.
"The court has given direction to Inspector General Islamabad to execute the decision as soon as possible," Haider said in a video message.
The jail term was announced for the "corrupt practices" by a trial court in the capital Islamabad.
“He has been found guilty of corrupt practices by hiding the benefits he accured from the national exchequer willfully and intentionally. He cheated while providing information of gifts he obtained from Toshakhana which later proved to be false and inaccurate," said the court.
It is the second time in the last three months that Khan has been arrested.
Khan has been lodged in Attock Jail in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
He was indicted in the Toshakhana case filed by the country's Election Commission in May, when he was arrested from the premises in the Islamabad High Court, triggering nationwide demonstrations.
Later, the Supreme Court declared Khan’s arrest illegal and ordered his release.
Toshakhana (a treasure house) is a government-owned department that keeps gifts received by members of parliament, ministers, foreign secretaries, presidents, and prime ministers.
In a pre-recorded message released on his official social media platforms, Khan said: “In the wake of my arrest ... I want you to continue peaceful protests and not to sit quietly inside your houses.”
- Judgement 'flawed,' says PTI
Khan's arrest triggered protests in Peshawar in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
But officials imposed restrictions to ban gatherings for five days and some of supporters of Khan were arrested.
The PTI called the judgmemt "biased" and "flawed."
The party is holding discussions on legal recourse against Khan's arrest and has called for peaceful demonstrations, according to statements on its social media platforms.
The party urged the top court to hear its appeal against Khan's arrest on priority.
From blaming the US for toppling his government to getting shot in the leg at a rally to force snap polls, here is a timeline of events that led to Khan's arrest for the second time in three months:
April 10, 2022: Khan is voted out of office in a no-confidence vote
May 25-26, 2022: Khan-led "long march" enters Islamabad, protest called off to avoid confrontation
July 18, 2022: Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf sweeps Punjab in by-election
Aug 22, 2022: Khan charged under anti-terror law, charges later dropped
Oct. 21, 2022: Pakistan’s Election Commission disqualifies Khan from running for public office for 5 years
Oct. 28, 2022: Khan launches second "long march" from Lahore to Islamabad to force early elections
Nov. 3, 2022: Khan escapes assassination attempt in Wazirabad district of northeastern Punjab province
March 5, 2023: Police attempt to arrest Khan by court order, he evades arrest
May 9, 2023: Paramilitary Rangers arrest Khan in a case filed by anti-corruption body, party calls arrest abduction. However, he is released after Pakistan's top court declared his arrest illegal
Aug. 5, 2023: A court in Islamabad finds Khan guilty of "corrupt practices" in Toshakhana case and he is arrested from his Lahore residence in Punjab
This news has been read 37 times in total