Pakistan’s former cricketers on Wednesday expressed solidarity with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, who was taken into custody a day earlier from an Islamabad court in the Al-Qadir Trust case.
Ex-cricketers Mohammad Hafeez, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, and Shoaib Akhtar are a few to name who are enraged by the way things have played out.
Showing his support for the deposed prime minister — who was voted out from power in April last year — former captain Younis assured Khan that they were right behind him.
“More power to you Imran Khan, let’s protect our leader [and] freedom,” Younis wrote.
Sharing a video of Khan being pulled outside the Islamabad High Court (IHC), cricket legend Akhtar said it was a heart-wrenching visual to see “national hero Imran Khan being manhandled this way.”
“Where are we heading? Show some respect to our national hero [please],” he requested.
Former cricketer Hafeez also shared the video terming it “painful” and a “condemnable act”.
Cricket commentator Akram said that Khan is one man but he has the strength of millions.
Khan is arguably the greatest cricket captain Pakistan has seen, with the national side winning the 1992 World Cup under his leadership.
He played 88 Tests and 175 ODIs for Pakistan over the course of his illustrious career.
A day earlier, Rangers personnel arrested the former prime minister from IHC in a case regarding Al-Qadir Trust.
The arrest was made under a warrant issued by the national anti-corruption watchdog National Accountability Bureau (NAB). NAB Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Nazir Ahmad Butt signed the arrest warrant and departed for performing Umrah.
The Al-Qadir Trust case is related to the illegal acquisition of land and construction for Al-Qadir University involving unlawful benefit given in recovery of prime proceeds (190 million British pounds) through the National Crime Agency (NCA), United Kingdom (UK).
The cricketer-turned-politician was detained after the anti-graft body fulfilled the lawful procedures of inquiry and investigation under its ambit.
As soon as news broke out that Khan was arrested, protests broke out almost across the country. The police arrested several other senior leaders, including Asad Umar.
Khan has been handed over to NAB on an eight-day physical remand and has also been indicted in the Toshakhana case registered by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).