Pakistan: In a major relief for former Prime Minister Imran Khan, a Pakistani court granted interim bail in seven different cases registered against him.
The major development came on Monday following recent clashes at the federal judicial complex earlier this month when the former prime minister arrived from Lahore to appear in a corruption case hearing.
A two-member division bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), comprising Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, heard the bail applications.
Khan, the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, sought interim bails in seven cases registered against him in Golra, Bara Kahu, Ramna, Khanna and CTD police stations.
Barrister Salman Safdar, Khan’s counsel, who filed the pleas, stated that the former prime minister would suffer “irreparable loss” if he was arrested.
“Furthermore, being head of the single largest political party, there is an apprehension that his political adversaries and opponents would be able to further their nefarious designs and political ambitions if pre-arrest bail is not granted to the petitioner,” according to the petition.
The court after hearing arguments granted interim bail to the former premier.
Intense clashes erupted outside the judicial complex on March 18 when Khan arrived from Lahore to attend a much-awaited hearing in the Toshakhana case.
During the confrontation between PTI workers and police, over 25 security personnel were injured, prompting Additional District and Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal to defer the court hearing in this case till March 30.
A video posted on PTI’s official Twitter on Monday showed Khan entering the court premises with Islamabad police guarding his bullet-proof vehicle. A total of 143 cases were registered against Khan, mostly on terrorism charges.
Imran Khan's life is under threat
Khan, 70, has been repeatedly claiming that his life is under threat because of which he was abstaining from attending court hearings.
Last week Khan alleged that the PML-N-led government was plotting to assassinate him in the pattern of Murtaza Bhutto, who was killed in police firing when his sister Benazir Bhutto was in power in 1996.
Meanwhile, police said that they have arrested 13 supporters of Khan, Senior Superintendent of Police Hasan Wattoo said.
PTI leader Shireen Manzari claimed that Khan's photographer and three other civilians were taken into custody ahead of Monday's court hearing.
“It’s shameful how PTI workers are being arrested in Islamabad today. Why are people not even in uniform putting our people in prison vans?” Manzari asked.
Sec 144 imposed
In Islamabad, authorities have imposed Section 144 of the Pakistan Penal Code that barred the gathering of people and warned of arrests in case of the violation of its order.
Khan, the cricketer-turned-politician, was ousted from power in April last year after losing a no-confidence vote, becoming the first Pakistani prime minister to be voted out by the National Assembly. Since his ouster, he has been demanding snap polls in the country to remove what he termed an "imported government" led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
(With inputs from PTI)
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