Pakistan: Arrest warrant suspended for former PM Khan
The arrest warrant for former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has been suspended, his lawyers announced on Friday, paving the way for an end to the blockade of his residence that sparked bloody clashes between his supporters and police earlier in the week. did.
Deposed by a no-confidence motion in April 2022, Imran Khan is embroiled in dozens of legal cases as he campaigns for snap elections to return to power.
The arrest warrant is due to his failure to respond to allegations in an Islamabad court on Saturday that he failed to declare all diplomatic gifts he received during his tenure and made money by reselling some of them, which he denies. Are.
Police efforts to arrest the 70-year-old former cricket star led to clashes with his supporters outside his residence in the eastern city of Lahore this week.
“The High Court in Islamabad has suspended the arrest warrant,” one of Khan’s lawyers, Faisal Chowdhury, told AFP.
He said, “Imran will appear in the court tomorrow.”
After the warrant was dropped, Mr Khan left his home for the first time in days to appear in a court in Lahore following clashes this week.
Dozens of his supporters marched towards his convoy, cheering him and waving the flags of his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
Throughout the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, police repeatedly clashed with PTI supporters in Lahore’s affluent Zaman Park suburb, firing tear gas and dodging stones thrown by angry crowds.
Since then, Mr Khan’s supporters have been standing guard outside his residence, fearing that the police would return to arrest him.
Mr Khan says he fears for his life if he is jailed and accuses the authorities of trying to prevent him from participating in elections due in October.
“We have serious doubts about his safety,” said Shibli Faraz, Mr Khan’s chief of staff, on Friday.
He was shot in the leg during a political rally in November. He attributed an assassination attempt to his successor, Shahbaz Sharif.