Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was arrested on Tuesday in connection with the Al-Qadir Trust Case from the premises of the Islamabad High Court, where he was attending two hearings this afternoon. Khan was taken in custody by the Rangers from the court premises.
The news of Imran Khan’s arrest prompted the chief justice of the high court, Aamer Farooq, to direct the Islamabad police chief, the interior ministry secretary and the additional attorney general to appear before the court within 15 minutes and explain why the former PM was arrested and in which case.
Imran Khan’s arrest comes a day after the Pakistani military rejected his accusations against a serving senior intelligence officer of involvement in his assassination attempt. Imran Khan doubled down on the allegations in a video message hours before his arrest on Tuesday.
WHAT IS THE AL-QADIR TRUST CASE?
Imran Khan, his wife, Bushra Bibi, and their close aides Zulfiqar Bukhari and Babar Awan formed the Al-Qadir Project Trust which was aimed at setting up the Al-Qadir University to impart ‘quality education’ in the Sohawa Tehsil of Punjab’s Jhelum district.
The trust’s office address in the documents has been mentioned as “Bani Gala House, Islamabad”.
Bushra Bibi later signed a memorandum in 2019 with a private real estate firm, Bahria Town, to receive donations from them. The trust went on to receive land measuring 458 kanals, 4 marlas, and 58 square feet from Bahria Town as part of their deal.
However, according to Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, of this 458 kanals of land, Imran Khan fixed its shares and transferred 240 kanals of the donated land in the name of Farah Gogi, a close friend of Bushra Bibi.
The value of this land was underestimated and Khan received his share in the name of the university, Sanaullah claimed, adding that the former PM tried to suppress the matter.
Following these allegations, Pakistan’s former Finance Minister Miftah Ismail tweeted that Imran Khan gave nearly 190 million pounds to real estate tycoon Malik Riaz, who later had to give away this amount to British authorities to settle an investigation into whether this money was from any proceeds of crime.
Malik Riaz also donated hundreds of acres of land to a trust, whose members were Imran Khan, Bushra Bibi, and Farah Gogi.
But according to the critics, the trust received millions in the name of donations in 2021 for an under-construction institute named Al-Qadir University, which was inaugurated on May 5, 2019, by Khan, who is the chairperson of the institute.
The scandal came to light when Pakistan’s media pointed out that 180 million Pakistani rupees were received by the trust when the records showed expenses of around 8.52 million Pakistani rupees. They further asked why the institute was charging students when it was acknowledged as a trust.