Imran Khan remanded in custody in graft case

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News Desk

Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan was remanded in custody on Wednesday for eight days, his lawyers said, a day after he was arrested on graft charges.

“The court has approved eight days of physical remand of Imran Khan,” Ali Bukhari, a lawyer for Khan, told AFP by phone after the closed-door hearing.

Khan was arrested during a routine hearing in the capital Islamabad on Tuesday and whisked away to an unknown location overnight before appearing behind closed doors in a specially convened court at police headquarters.

The drama follows months of political crisis during which Khan, who was ousted in April last year, has waged an unprecedented campaign against the country’s powerful military.

The former cricketing superstar, who remains wildly popular, has previously denied all the charges in dozens of cases brought against him.

He says the myriad legal cases are part of an effort by the struggling government and military establishment to prevent him from returning to power.

His arrest has brought tens of thousands of his supporters to the street in cities across the country.

“If they think that the arrest of Imran Khan will demoralize us, then they are hugely mistaken,” said Niaz Ali in Peshawar, where several monuments and government buildings have been torched.

“We stand with Imran Khan and will support him till death.”

Khan’s arrest came hours after the powerful military rebuked him for alleging that a senior officer had been involved in a plot to kill him.

Pakistan politicians have frequently been arrested and jailed since the country’s founding in 1947, but few have so directly challenged a military that has staged at least three coups and had ruled for more than three decades.

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