Pakistan: Timeline of former prime ministers arrested

pakistan timeline of former prime ministers arrested – The News Mill

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Imran Khan, former Pakistan prime minister and PTI chief was detained on Tuesday by paramilitary Rangers while he was outside Islamabad High Court, where he had arrived to appear for hearings in two cases, Dawn reported.
Pakistan has a lengthy history of imprisoning former prime ministers. Ever since it was created, Pakistan is infamous for such incidents. Earlier in 1950, Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated in Rawalpindi’s Company Bagh (aka East India Company Garden) during a public meeting of the Muslim City League, reported Dawn.
Here, is a timeline of all former Pakistani prime ministers who have ever been detained:-
Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy(January 1962): He was the fifth Prime Minister of Pakistan (Sept 1956-Oct 1957). Suhrawardy denied endorsing Gen Ayub Khan’s seizure of the government. Through the Elective Bodies Disqualification Order (Ebdo), he was banned from politics and was later accused of violating the Ebdo in July 1960. He was arrested and put in solitary confinement in the Central Jail of Karachi in Jan 1962, without trial on concocted charges of anti-state activities under the 1952 Security of Pakistan Act, as per Dawn.
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (Sept 1977): He served as the prime minister from Aug 1973 to July 1977. In Sept 1977, he was arrested for conspiring to murder a political opponent in 1974. Bhutto was released by Lahore High Court. Justice Khwaja Mohammad Ahmad Samdani stated that his arrest had no legal grounds. But Bhutto was arrested again three days later under Martial Law Regulation 12. The regulation empowered law enforcement agencies to detain anyone who obstructed security, law and order or the efficient execution of martial law. This law could not be challenged in any court of law. Bhutto was ultimately given a death sentence and put to death on April 4, 1979.
Benazir Bhutto (Aug 1985): She served as Pakistan’s prime minister twice (Dec 1998-Aug 1990 and Oct 1993-Nov 1996). Under Ziaul Haq’s dictatorship (1977-1988), Benazir served as an opposition leader. She arrived in Pakistan in Aug 1985 for her brother’s funeral and was put under house arrest for 90 days. In Aug 1986, Bhutto was arrested for denouncing the government at a rally in Karachi on Independence Day, according to Dawn.
In May 1998, the Ehtesab Bench of the Lahore High Court issued bailable arrest warrants for Benazir Bhutto. Again in June 1998, the Public Accounts Committee issued an arrest warrant against Benazir Bhutto. In July 1998, The Ehtesab Bench issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Benazir Bhutto and again in April 1999, she was sentenced to five years and disqualified from holding public office by the Ehtesab Bench on being accused of taking kickbacks from a Swiss company hired to fight customs fraud. She had fled the country at the time of the verdict and the conviction was later overturned by a higher court.
Again in October 1999, the Ehtesab Bench issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for Benazir Bhutto as she did not appear before the court in the assets reference case, Dawn reported.
Benazir Bhutto was again placed under house arrest for a week in Punjab in November 2007 at PPP Senator Latif Khosa’s home to stop her from organising a large protest against Gen Musharraf’s authoritarian regime. Bhutto was assassinated on 27 December 2007 by a 15-year-old suicide bomber called Bilal in Rawalpindi.
Nawaz Sharif (Sept 2007): After being exiled by Gen Pervez Musharraf in 1999, Nawaz Sharif went back to Pakistan. After arriving back in Islamabad, the airport was closed, and Nawaz was detained for the final three years of his ten-year exile in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, shortly thereafter, according to a report published in Dawn. He was arrested and given a 10-year sentence for corruption by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) along with his daughter Maryam Nawaz. He was then released two months later when the court suspended the sentences to wait for a final judgement by the high court.
In December 2018, Sharif was jailed again and given a seven-year sentence in relation to his family’s ownership of steel mills in Saudi Arabia. He was allowed to leave the country to receive medical treatment in November 2019. He has since not returned to Pakistan.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi (July 2019): The PML-N leader served as the prime minister of Pakistan from January 2017-May 2018. He was arrested by a 12-member NAB team, on July 19, for alleged corruption while awarding a multi-billion rupee import contract for LNG in 2013 when he was the minister for petroleum and natural resources. He was given bail and released from Adiala Jail on Feb 27, 2020, Dawn reported.
Shehbaz Sharif (Sept 2020): After the Lahore High Court rejected his bail in a NAB money laundering case, Shehbaz Sharif, the current prime minister of Pakistan, was arrested on September 28. He was released from Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Central jail nearly seven months later.
Imran Khan (March 2023): Two separate arrest warrants were issued for Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief and former prime minister Imran Khan after he missed proceedings in cases pertaining to alleged threats issued to a judge and the Toshakhana gifts. PTI supporters had gathered outside his residence in Zaman Park to prevent his arrest.
On May 9, 2023, Imran Khan, was arrested from the premises of the Islamabad High Court on corruption charges in a case related to the Al Qadir University Trust, Dawn reported.

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