© Reuters. Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, waves from the car as he leaves from Lahore to seem earlier than Islamabad Excessive Courtroom, in Lahore, Pakistan March 18, 2023. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
By Ariba Shahid and Akhtar Soomro
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was set to seem in court docket on Saturday as police had been coming into his residence and after he expressed worry of arrest in a standoff with the federal government that has led to intense clashes along with his supporters.
Dealing with a spate of authorized challenges, together with one which prompted a failed try to arrest him on Tuesday, Khan was to handle expenses within the court docket within the capital Islamabad of unlawfully promoting state presents given to him by international dignitaries whereas in workplace.
Khan says he adopted authorized procedures in buying the presents.
Hours earlier at his residence in Lahore, the previous cricket legend informed Reuters he has fashioned a committee to steer his celebration if he’s arrested.
He has led nationwide protests after his ouster from energy final yr and has had a spate of instances registered in opposition to him. The police unsuccessfully tried to arrest him on Tuesday.
Police entered his property after Khan arrived in Islamabad for the court docket look. Earlier this week, police and Khan’s supporters clashed outdoors his residence earlier throughout the arrest try.
Khan, who was shot and wounded whereas campaigning in November, stated in an interview the risk to his life is larger than earlier than and asserted – with out offering proof – that his political opponents and the navy need to block him from standing in elections later this yr.
The navy and authorities didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
Safety was tight across the judicial complicated the place Khan, 70, was headed in a motorcade surrounded by supporters.
‘GOVT INTENDS TO ARREST ME’
The court docket has beforehand issued arrest warrants for Khan within the case as he had failed to seem on earlier hearings regardless of summons.
On his assurance that he would seem on Saturday, the court docket granted Khan safety in opposition to arrest, however he stated he feared the police and authorities deliberate to take him into custody.
“It’s now clear that, regardless of my having gotten bail in all my instances, the (Pakistan Democratic Motion coalition) govt intends to arrest me. Regardless of realizing their malafide intentions, I’m continuing to Islamabad & the court docket bec(ause) I consider in rule of legislation,” Khan stated on Twitter.
“It is usually apparent now that the whole siege of Lahore was not about guaranteeing I seem earlier than the court docket in a case however was meant to take me away to jail in order that I’m unable to steer our election marketing campaign.”
Pakistan’s data minister stated this week the federal government had nothing to do with the police motion and the police had been complying with court docket orders.
The case to be heard on Saturday pertains to expenses that Khan bought luxurious watches and different objects given to the state throughout his 2018-2022 time period as prime minister.
There have been studies of contemporary clashes between police and supporters of Khan and his celebration, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in Lahore.
Punjab Data Minister Amir Mir informed Reuters that police had arrived outdoors Khan’s home to gather proof about assaults on police and folks wished in numerous instances.
“When police arrived, the PTI activists tried to cease them by pelting stones and baton assaults. In retaliation, police arrested lots of them. Police had already knowledgeable the PTI management concerning the proof assortment course of,” Mir stated.
(This story has been corrected to indicate Khan is to seem in court docket, not showing in court docket, within the headline. Story was beforehand corrected in paragraphs 1, 2, 5, 8 and 15.)
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