On Friday, Islamabad High Court granted former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan two weeks of bail in a corruption case. This decision was made just a day after the Supreme Court declared his arrest “invalid and unlawful.” Despite Mr Khan’s arrest being upheld by the Islamabad High Court, a three-member Supreme Court bench deemed it “illegal” and ordered his immediate release.
The hearing on Friday was delayed for almost two hours due to security reasons. Mr Khan arrived at the Islamabad High Court in a secure convoy, flanked by dozens of police and paramilitaries. His lawyer Khawaja Harris stated, “The court has granted Imran Khan a two weeks interim bail and has directed the authorities not to arrest him in the [graft] case.” Mr Khan raised a single fist above his head, signaling his gathered supporters.
However, the legal saga seems far from over. The interior minister has pledged to re-arrest Mr Khan, who has become entangled in a slew of legal cases. Mr Khan, who was ousted as Prime Minister last April, was arrested from outside the Islamabad High Court on Tuesday in the Al-Qadir Trust case after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the country’s top anti-corruption body, issued an arrest warrant against him.
The arrest by paramilitary Rangers triggered deadly clashes across the country, prompting the deployment of the Army. At least nine people died in the unrest, according to police and hospitals. Mr Khan has accused senior military and government officials of plotting a November assassination attempt that saw him shot in the leg during a rally.
General elections are due no later than October, and the former cricket star has accused the shaky incumbent coalition government of supplanting him in cahoots with top generals. Despite being ousted, Mr Khan has remained wildly popular. His arrest this week came after the army rebuked him for once again repeating allegations that they were involved in his assassination attempt.
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