Pakistan Turmoil: Why was Imran Khan arrested?

10 May 2023  Read 1014 Views

Former Pakistan PM & Chief of the Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, Imran Khan, has been arrested by the paramilitary force in a corruption case (Al- Qadir Trust Case). The dramatic arrest video outside the court's premises also goes viral on social media platforms.

Pakistan is already running out of dollars, with inflation running at over 36%. Therefore, Imran Khan’s arrest added insult to injury. Khan has been taken into custody just a day after the powerful Pakistan army accused him of levelling baseless allegations against a senior officer of the spy agency ISI.

So, let’s discuss this heated topic in this article covering the case behind his arrest, how his arrest added another blow to the crushing economy of Pakistan, etc. 

Al- Qadir Trust case: Imran Khan arrested

Imran Khan was arrested for an offence concerning the Al-Qadir University Trust case. The accusations are against Imran Khan, his wife, Bushra Bibi and a few other leaders of his party PTI revolving around the establishment of Al-Qadir University. 

  • In mid-2022, the new coalition government alleged that Khan and his wife secured land worth billions of rupees in their trust from real estate firm Bahria Town's Malik Riaz to establish this educational institute, Al-Qadir University, to impart quality education in Punjab's Jhelum district. 

  • Riaz is a major property tycoon in Pakistan. However, it is alleged that Imran Khan and his wife embezzled billions of rupees in this case in order to save Bahria Town which was involved in a money laundering case. So, Khan and his wife showed that this ₹50 billion is being used by their trust for the establishment of the University. . 

  • This alleged settlement was made between his government (PTI) and Riaz, which contributed to a loss of ₹50 billion to the weak economy of Pakistan.   

  • Imran Khan and some other leaders of his government allegedly “adjusted this ₹50 billion" to the government. The leaders of the PTI are also accused of getting undue benefits in the form of over 458 kanals of land at Mouza Bakrala, Sohawa, of establishing Al Qadir University.

  • Allegedly, Imran Khan also sought the help of their close aides Zulfiqar Bukhari and Babar Awan, from the real estate firm, Bahria Town, to legalise this laundered amount of 50 billion.

Hence, according to the Pakistan authorities, Imran Khan was arrested by officials of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), specifically in the Al-Qadir Trust case, stating that there are many more corruption cases against Khan.

What is National Accountability Bureau (NAB)?

The NAB is an autonomous body empowered to undertake any required prevention and awareness, by all means, in addition to enforcing its operations against economic terrorism & financial crimes.

Imran Khan’s arrest adds to crippling economy of Pakistan

Pakistan’s economy is already facing low growth, high inflation, unemployment and a highly deteriorating external balance position. So, Imran Khan’s arrest added another blow to the already deteriorating condition of Pakistan. The primary concern for Pakistan in terms of structural imbalances includes disproportionate involvement of government in economic activities, large informal economy, workforce majorly dependent on agriculture, concentration on cotton-related production activities, neglect of services economy in public policies, low rate of savings etc.

This proves that a deep-rooted economic reform is needed in Pakistan to eradicate these structural imbalances. Let’s discuss the turmoils in Pakistan in detail: 

  1. Economic Turmoil

Industrial activity has been very steady because the central bank has raised interest rates to 21% to curb inflation, as people there are even ready to purchase essential commodities at a very high price due to contingencies. This increased interest rate has raised unemployment and poverty, wherein women and children were killed in stampedes at food distribution centres as food inflation rose to 40%.

  1. Delayed IMF bailout

An IMF bailout programme to be expired in the month of June has been put to halt since November. Presently, Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves at $4.457 billion covers barely a month's worth of imports. China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE who stepped forward to provide debt relief to Pakistan, such actions are yet to be implemented fully. 

The IMF has presented a set of conditions in lieu for releasing a $1.1 billion loan installment to Pakistan such as liberalizing the rupee’s exchange rate and raising taxes.

We know, there is too much going on in the country, but we have tried to cover everything that’s important for you to understand the scenario.

  1. Elections

Pakistan is in a constitutional deadlock after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's government in April rejected a Supreme Court order to hold local elections in Punjab province by the middle of May. It is also shocking to note that no PM in Pakistan have ever completed their term in the office due to political instability and struggle for democracy. While Pakistan’s first Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan was murdered, several others left office either because their governments dissolved or dismissed or imposition of martial law.

So, just imagine, if a country lacks political stability, that day is never far away when such a nation will witness a situation like Afghanistan where therrorist orgainzations or rebel groups can easily conquer the government.

  1. Political pressure

Imran Khan’s arrest for alleged corruption, who was ousted as PM in 2022, had built up pressure on the government through a sustained political campaign. Pakistan's public is clashing with the law enforcement agencies raising serious concerns in the country.

  1. Powerful military or army

Pakistan’s army is declared the seventh most powerful in the world as of 2023. The question here arises as to why Pakistan’s military enjoys so much power in a democracy? 

Political stability contributes to strengthened democratic institutions, but the Muslim League, which demanded the partition of Pakistan from India, was organisationally weaker than the Indian National Congress. So this can be one of the reasons why the Pakistani government usually sought the backing of the powerful military, which has ruled the country for more than 30 of its 75 years. Even the Judiciary failed to uphold the Constitution, which held that the federal government has complete control and command of the armed forces.

Imran Khan’s arrest came after a day he issued a rare statement denouncing him for making allegations against a serving officer.

  1. Rising militancy

The dispute over Kashmir gave the first rise of militancy in Pakistan, with terror organizations allegedly residing domestically in teh country. The government says it plans a nationwide operation to root out Islamist militants in the face of recent attacks like the 2014 operation, which cost the country billions of dollars, killed hundreds, and displaced millions of people.

What happened in the Court during Khan’s arrest?

Imran Khan, who travelled from Lahore to Islamabad, underwent a biometric process at the court when the Rangers broke open the glass window and arrested Khan after beating lawyers and Imran Khan's security staff, as per the sources. 

Imran Khan's arrest declared illegal by Supreme Court.

What Imran Khan has to say?

The cricketer-turned-politician has accused Pakistani authorities of attempting to arrest him to remove him from the playing field ahead of a general election scheduled in October.

List of least stable Countries 

The list includes the ranking of Pakistan and countries below it in terms of political stability as of 2021.


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We can conclude by saying that Imran Khan’s arrest will add another blow to Pakistan's already deteriorating economy and political stability. Countries such as Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia etc., lack more in terms of political stability compared to Pakistan thus, resulting in serious concerns for themselves as it amounts to reduced investments and the pace of economic development. The situation in Pakistan is only worsening, and it is yet to see how the country will stand strong against such turmoils.

Will Pakistan be able to restructure its economy once again?

Comment down your opinion! 👇🏻

About the Author: Kakoli Nath | 186 Post(s)

Kakoli Nath is a legal Content Manager at Finology Legal who pursued BBA.LL.B (5 years integrated course). She is a patent analyst & had also done advanced certification in Forensics Psychology and Criminal Profiling from IFS, Pune.

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