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Pakistani court docket suspends arrest warrant for ex-PM Imran Khan

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A prime Pakistani court docket has suspended an arrest warrant for former Prime Minister Imran Khan, giving him a reprieve to journey to Islamabad and face costs in a graft case with out being detained

ByMUNIR AHMED Related Press

ISLAMABAD — A prime Pakistani court docket on Friday suspended an arrest warrant for former Prime Minister Imran Khan, giving him a reprieve to journey to Islamabad and face costs in a graft case with out being detained.

Khan has been holed up at his residence within the jap metropolis of Lahore since Tuesday, after failing to look at an earlier listening to within the case. His supporters hurled stones and clashed with baton-wielding police for 2 days to guard the previous premier from arrest.

Khan, now within the opposition, was ousted in a no-confidence vote in Parliament final April. He’s accused of promoting state presents whereas in workplace and concealing property. It is one in every of a string of {cases} that the previous cricket star turned Islamist politician is dealing with since his ouster.

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He’s now due in court docket on Saturday, after Aamer Farooq, the chief justice on the Islamabad Excessive Court docket, suspended the warrant within the graft case. The court docket on Friday additionally warned Khan that he might face contempt proceedings if he once more fails to indicate up earlier than the choose.

The previous premier has averted court docket appearances since November, when he was wounded in a gun assault at a protest rally in jap Punjab province. Khan nonetheless enjoys an enormous grassroots following and has campaigned for early elections.

The 70-year-old opposition chief has additionally claimed that his elimination from energy was a part of a conspiracy by his successor, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, and america. Each Washington and Sharif’s authorities have denied the allegations.

Friday’s suspension of the warrant was welcomed by Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf occasion. “Imran Khan will come to Islamabad to look earlier than the court docket,” mentioned Shibli Faraz, a celebration chief.

After the suspension, a jubilant Khan and an entourage of cheering supporters marched right into a prime court docket in Lahore, the place they’re anticipated to hunt reprieves from attainable future warrants associated to different {cases} Khan is embroiled in. Most of them contain costs of incitement to violence.

Tensions have been excessive in Lahore since Tuesday, when the clashes first erupted exterior Khan’s residence within the upscale Zaman Park neighborhood. Khan’s supporters threw petrol bombs on the officers, who fired tear gasoline and water cannons.

Maryam Sharif, a prime chief in Sharif’s ruling Pakistan Muslim League occasion, criticized Khan on Friday for resisting arrest and lauded the safety forces for his or her restraint.

“The state can arrest him in 5 minutes, but it surely exercised restraint to keep away from bloodshed,” she mentioned.

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