Arrest warrant against Imran Khan postponed as soon as he appeared in court

Arrest warrant against Imran Khan postponed as soon as he appeared in court

The court accepted the presence of Imran Khan, his lawyers said.


A Pakistani judge on Saturday quashed an arrest warrant against former prime minister Imran Khan, his lawyers said, as the former cricket star, who missed several hearings, traveled to the court.

The 70-year-old has been embroiled in a series of court cases since being ousted in a vote of no confidence last year and is under pressure from the fragile coalition government, which called for early elections to replace him.

Earlier this week, Imran Khan’s supporters sent police to arrest him in the eastern city of Lahore after he failed to appear in court on corruption charges, citing security concerns.

“The court has canceled the arrest warrant after recording the appearance of Imran Khan. The hearing has been adjourned till March 30,” Gowhar Khan, one of Khan’s lawyers, told AFP.

After several days of legal wrangling, Khan traveled over 300 kilometers from Lahore to the Islamabad court complex, but was unable to get out of the car.

About 4,000 supporters crowded the compound, pelting stones and throwing bricks at police officers, who retaliated with tear gas.

The court, however, accepted Khan’s presence, his lawyers said.

The case has been brought by the Election Commission of Pakistan which has accused Imran Khan of not declaring gifts he received during his time as prime minister or profits made from selling them.

Pakistan’s courts are often used to tie up lawmakers in lengthy trials, which rights monitors criticize for suppressing political opposition.

Imran Khan claims that the authorities want to put him in jail, so he is unable to campaign for the upcoming elections.

Some 4,000 security officers, including specialized police commandos, anti-terrorist squads and paramilitary rangers, have been deployed around Islamabad and hospitals have been put on high alert.

Meanwhile, police raided his house in an upscale area of ​​Lahore after blocking nearby roads and suspending mobile services in the area.

As the political drama unfolds, Pakistan is in the grip of a severe economic downturn, at risk of default if aid cannot be secured from the International Monetary Fund.

The security situation is also deteriorating with a spate of deadly attacks on police linked to the Pakistan Taliban.

Last year, Khan was shot in the leg during a political rally, an assassination he blamed on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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