An anti-corruption court in Pakistan issued arrest warrants against former Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday in connection with two cases related to the Al-Qadir Trust and the Toshakhana gifts. The accountability court judge, Muhammad Bashir, issued the warrants at the request of the National Accountability Court (NAB), the country’s anti-corruption watchdog, news agency PTI reported. The Al-Qadir Trust case involves the settlement of £190 million (approximately Rs 50 billion) sent to Pakistan by the UK’s National Crime Agency. Instead of depositing the amount into the national treasury during his tenure as prime minister, Khan allegedly permitted a property tycoon to use it to settle a fine imposed by the Supreme Court.
In return for this favor, the tycoon allegedly gifted approximately 57 acres of land to a trust established by Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi for the Al-Qadir University in the Sohawa area of the Jhelum district of Punjab. Additionally, the court issued an arrest warrant for Khan in the Toshakhana gifts case, a distinct case from the one in which he was convicted in August and subsequently granted bail. The Election Commission of Pakistan filed the earlier case, accusing Khan of concealing proceeds from the sale of gifts received from the Toshakhana.
The National Accountability Court sought the arrest warrants against Khan to facilitate the completion of investigations in both cases, news agency PTI reported. The court directed the superintendent of Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, where Khan is currently detained in connection with the cipher case, to ensure compliance. Meanwhile, Khan’s wife, Bushra Bibi, appeared before the NAB in Islamabad for questioning related to the Al-Qadir Trust case. Following the interrogation, NAB provided her with a questionnaire containing 11 questions.
Imran Khan was initially arrested on May 9 in the Al-Qadir Trust case, leading to violent protests by his supporters. Although released on May 11 by the Supreme Court, he was re-arrested after being convicted in the Toshakhana case. The Islamabad High Court subsequently granted him a two-week bail in the Al-Qadir Trust case. In a separate development, the caretaker government reportedly added Bushra Bibi’s name to the no-fly list based on NAB’s recommendation in the Al-Qadir Trust case, as reported by Dunya News.