TORONTO : The UN on Wednesday called on all parties in Pakistan to refrain from violence following the arrest of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“The secretary-general takes note of the ongoing protests that have erupted following the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan yesterday in Islamabad and calls for all parties to refrain from violence. He stresses the need to respect the right to peaceful assembly,” said a statement by Farhan Haq, deputy spokesperson for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
“The secretary-general urges the authorities to respect due process and the rule of law in proceedings brought against former Prime Minister Khan,” the statement added.
At least six people were killed and several others injured after protests broke out across Pakistan against the arrest of Khan on Tuesday.
Khan was arrested on May 9 in connection with alleged corruption involving the Al-Qadir University Trust.
It is alleged that the cricketer-turned-politician and his wife, Bushra Bibi, received billions of rupees and a large piece of costly land to build the educational institution in return for releasing an amount of £190 million ($239 million) to a property tycoon in 2020.
The amount was identified and returned to the country by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA), following a settlement with real estate tycoon Malik Riaz in 2019.
The National Accountability Bureau, Pakistan’s anti-corruption body, alleges that Khan’s PTI government struck a deal with Riaz that caused a loss of more than $239 million to the national exchequer, in a quid pro quo arrangement with the businessman.
Khan and his party leaders, however, deny the allegations.