Imran Khan granted bail after fears of nationwide violence in Pakistan
Imran Khan granted bail after fears of fresh wave of nationwide violence in Pakistan following his arrest
- Imran Khan was given protection from arrest for two weeks by the High Court
- It came after Pakistan’s supreme court ruled that his detention was unlawful
- The arrest of Mr Khan, 70, earlier this week, sparked nationwide violence
Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan was yesterday granted bail over corruption charges.
Mr Khan, 70, was given protection from arrest for two weeks by Islamabad’s high court.
It came a day after Pakistan’s supreme court ruled his detention on Tuesday was unlawful and ordered his release. It had asked the high court to reconsider its decision to uphold his arrest.
The Pakistan government contends that the release of the former international cricket star encourages mob violence.
The arrest of Mr Khan, Pakistan’s prime minister from 2018 to 2022, sparked nationwide violence. The clashes, in which his supporters attacked military installations, left ten people dead and resulted in 3,000 arrests.
Mr Khan, 70, was given protection from arrest for two weeks by Islamabad’s high court
The long list of around 100 court cases, on charges ranging from fomenting violence to corruption, still stands against Khan.
The cases include allegations that Khan incited violence and threatened police and government officials. A new terrorism charge was filed against him Thursday for allegedly inciting his followers to violence after his arrest.
He also faces at least three graft cases, including accusations from the National Accountability Bureau that he accepted millions of dollars worth of property in exchange for providing benefits to a real estate tycoon.
The court’s ruling was a victory for Khan, and averted any new arrest for the time being. The Islamabad High Court gave him protection for two weeks on one graft charge and protection until Monday on a host of other charges in a measure called ‘anticipatory bail.’
The protections in each case can be extended, but it was not immediately clear if that meant a new court hearing on Monday.
The court’s ruling was a victory for Khan, and averted any new arrest for the time being
Supporters of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan pray after hearing the court decision
Police officers detain a supporter of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan as they protest against his arrest, in Islamabad, Pakistan, on May 9, 2023
Supporters of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan stand amid tear gas fired by policemen during clashes as they protest against Khan’s arrest, in Peshawar, Pakistan, on May 9, 2023
A police vehicle is seen burning along a road during a protest by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party activists and supporters of former Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran against the arrest of their leader, in Karachi, on May 9, 2023
‘This is judicial activism and politicizing of the judiciary,’ legal expert Arfan Qadir told The Associated Press, calling the rulings unprecedented. ‘Such decisions will continue to come until the supremacy of the Parliament is ensured.’
Khan, a former cricket star turned Islamist politician, has a broad base of support around Pakistan. Opponents call him a corrupt demagogue stirring his followers into violence.
He was removed as prime minister in April last year in a vote of no-confidence by Parliament.
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