Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

ISLAMABAD — A excessive court docket in Islamabad on Friday granted former Prime Minister Imran Khan safety from arrest in a graft case and ordered him freed on bail.

The ruling got here as the federal government and legions of Khan’s supporters have been on edge after days of violent confrontations sparked by the arrest of the previous prime minister earlier this week. The federal government has vowed it would discover a solution to take Khan again into custody, a transfer that might doubtless trigger a resurgence of riots and mob assaults.

Friday’s ruling by the Islamabad Excessive Court docket gave Khan safety from arrest on one among a number of corruption instances in opposition to him for a interval of two weeks, a type of interim bail that often is renewed within the Pakistan judicial system.

Khan, nonetheless, remained within the court docket after the choice as his legal professionals petitioned the judges for comparable safety in a lot of different corruption fees, attempting to shut off a authorized avenue for the federal government to arrest him once more.

Khan’s chief lawyer, Babar Awan, praised the ruling, and mentioned Khan was now “a free man.”

A short time later, the court docket mentioned Khan couldn’t be arrested in the intervening time in different pending corruption instances in opposition to him. The previous premier was anticipated to stroll out of the court docket shortly

The federal government contends that Khan’s launch rewards and encourages mob violence. After he was arrested Tuesday, his supporters attacked navy installations, burned automobiles, and ambulances and looted common shops in numerous components of the nation. The federal government responded with a crackdown, arresting practically 3,000 folks. The violence left a minimum of 10 Khan supporters lifeless. Dozens of protesters and greater than 200 cops have been injured.

The arrest Tuesday was a startling and controversial transfer: Brokers from the Nationwide Accountability Bureau burst into the Islamabad Excessive Court docket the place Khan was attending a session on different fees — the identical court docket the place he appeared Friday — and dragged him away, placing him into an armored automobile.

On Thursday, Pakistan’s Supreme Court docket dominated that arrest illegal, however requested the Islamabad Excessive Court docket, a decrease court docket, to rethink its preliminary choice to uphold the arrest.

The controversy surrounding Khan — a determine who evokes each vehement loyalty and livid opposition — threatens to open a deeper vein of turmoil in a rustic that has seen a number of navy takeovers and bouts of violence. The unrest has echoed that which adopted the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto throughout an election rally. Her supporters on the time, outraged by her killing, rampaged for days throughout Pakistan.

Khan, a former cricket star turned Islamist politician, was eliminated as prime minister final 12 months by a no-confidence vote in Parliament and now leads the opposition. He faces greater than 100 authorized instances, most involving allegations that he incited violence and threatened police and authorities officers.

He additionally faces a minimum of three graft instances, together with accusations from the Nationwide Accountability Bureau that he accepted tens of millions of {dollars} value of property in trade for offering advantages to an actual property tycoon. A brand new terrorism cost was filed in opposition to him on Thursday for allegedly inciting his followers to violence after his arrest.

Following the Supreme Court docket’s launch order Thursday, Khan spent the evening at a authorities visitor home in Islamabad, the place he met with relations and buddies.

Pakistan’s president, Arif Alvi, additionally had a gathering with him. Alvi has been attempting to defuse stress between Khan and Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s authorities to keep away from an escalation.

Talking at a particular Cupboard assembly Friday to debate the developments, Sharif criticized the Supreme Court docket ruling, saying there was a “real corruption case” in opposition to Khan, “however the judiciary has change into a stone wall defending him.”

As Sharif’s authorities contends with the political turmoil amid a worsening financial disaster, it’s also coping with militant assaults. Based on Pakistan’s navy, two troopers have been killed and three have been wounded Friday when insurgents attacked a safety put up within the city of Muslim Bagh in southwestern Baluchistan province. It mentioned two insurgents have been additionally killed within the trade of fireplace.

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