(Islamabad) Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan emerged free from his summons to the Islamabad court on Saturday, which lifted the arrest warrant issued against him, his lawyers announced.
Entangled in a series of court cases, a frequent risk for opposition figures, the 70-year-old former head of government was summoned to court in the Pakistani capital to face corruption charges.
After several days of legal wrangling, Mr. Khan drove the more than 300 kilometers from Lahore, in eastern Pakistan, to the Islamabad court complex on Saturday, but was unable to get out of his car due to the tear gas fired by the police in the direction of his supporters who threw stones and bricks at them.
The court, however, acknowledged Mr. Khan’s presence, his lawyers said.
“The court canceled the arrest warrant after noting the presence of Imran Khan. The hearing has been adjourned until March 30,” one of the former prime minister’s lawyers, Gohar Khan, told AFP.
Imran Khan was summoned as part of a procedure initiated by the Pakistan Election Commission which accuses him of not having declared the gifts received during his term as prime minister, nor the profits made by selling them. Charges he denies.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Khan had accused in a video the authorities of having hatched a “plan to arrest him” and claimed to be at the center of a plot to prevent him from running in the elections scheduled for October. .
Ousted from power in April 2022 following a motion of no confidence, Mr. Khan is pressuring the fragile coalition government that replaced him to hold a snap election.
As of Saturday, some 4,000 security personnel, including elite police commandos and counter-terrorism squads, were deployed around Islamabad and hospitals were placed on high alert.
Police also raided Mr. Khan’s home, located in an affluent area of Lahore, after blocking nearby roads and suspending mobile phone services in the area.
Earlier this week, clashes erupted between his supporters gathered outside his home and the police sent to arrest him. A court eventually ordered law enforcement to stand down and Mr. Khan promised to go to court on Saturday, after repeatedly refusing over security concerns.