Imran Khan’s arrest warrant was rescinded when he appeared in court
A Pakistani judge dropped an arrest warrant for former prime minister Imran Khan on Saturday, his lawyers said, after the former cricket star, who skipped multiple hearings, went to court.
The 70-year-old has been embroiled in a string of lawsuits since he was ousted in a no-confidence vote last year and has pressured the fragile coalition government to replace him to hold an election. appointed early.
Earlier this week, Imran Khan’s supporters clashed with police dispatched to arrest him in the eastern city of Lahore after he failed to appear in court on corruption charges, citing safety concerns. security.
“The court canceled the arrest warrant after marking Imran Khan’s attendance. The hearing has been adjourned until March 30,” one of Khan’s lawyers, Gohar Khan, told AFP.
After days of legal wrangling, Khan traveled more than 300 kilometers from Lahore to the Islamabad court complex, but could not get out of his car.
About 4,000 supporters moved around the complex, throwing rocks and bricks at police officers, who returned fire with tear gas.
However, the court accepted Khan’s attendance, his lawyer said.
The case has been brought by the Election Commission of Pakistan, accusing Imran Khan of failing to declare gifts received during his time as prime minister or profits obtained from their sale.
Pakistan’s courts are often used to bind lawmakers in lengthy proceedings that human rights monitors criticize for strangling the political opposition.
Imran Khan claims the authorities want to put him in jail so he can’t campaign for upcoming elections.
About 4,000 security officials including elite police commandos, counter-terrorism squads and paramilitary rangers have been deployed around Islamabad with hospitals on high alert.
Meanwhile, police raided his home in an upscale Lahore neighborhood after blocking nearby roads and suspending cell services in the area.
As the political drama unfolds, Pakistan is hit by a severe economic downturn, in danger of defaulting without help from the International Monetary Fund.
The security situation is also deteriorating with a series of deadly attacks on police, linked to the Pakistani Taliban.
Last year, Khan was shot in the leg during a political protest, an assassination he blamed on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)