In another case, the Islamabad High Court suspends an arrest warrant against the former Pakistani prime minister.
The Lahore High Court has granted bail to former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in multiple lawsuits filed against him earlier this week.
The development on Friday came after days of a tense confrontation between security forces and the supporters of the leader of Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party outside his residence in Lahore, which had escalated into clashes.
Accompanied by a large number of supporters, Khan arrived in Lahore court on Friday to seek bail in the cases brought against him in Lahore and Islamabad in the aftermath of the clashes. Charges included rioting, attempted murder, incitement to violence and criminal conspiracy under the country’s anti-terrorism law.
The two-member bank granted Khan a 10-day exemption for the cases filed in Lahore and set a March 24 deadline for the cases registered in Islamabad.
Azhar Siddique, part of Khan’s legal team in Lahore, told Al Jazeera it is routine to seek bail from higher courts in cases filed in other cities.
“Four new cases have been registered against Imran Khan here in Lahore, and it has to do with the resistance his supporters showed to the police when they came to arrest him,” said Kamal Hyder of Al Jazeera, who reported outside Khan’s residence. .
Chairman PTI @ImranKhanPTI leaves for Lahore High Court: pic.twitter.com/lquDV2Royu
— PTI (@PTIofficial) March 17, 2023
Separately on Friday, the Islamabad High Court decided to suspend an arrest warrant issued against him in an alleged corruption case. The court ordered him to appear before a lower court in the capital on Saturday.
“We will make sure that Imran Khan appears in court tomorrow [Saturday]Khan’s lawyer Faisal Fareed Chaudhry told Al Jazeera.
The order related to his failure to appear in court to answer a case brought by the Election Commission of Pakistan accusing him of failing to declare gifts received during his time as prime minister from 2018 to 2022 or the profit he had made from selling it. Khan denies the allegations, saying they are politically motivated.
In an interview with Al Jazeera on Thursday, Khan had also said he intended to appear in court in Islamabad.
PTI leader Musarrat Cheema said Khan “never shied away from appearing in court and only for security reasons”.
“Imran Khan never intended to embarrass the courts,” she said. “All he said was that the court venue is congested, and he has genuine concerns about security, which is why he asked for an opportunity to bring all cases together. However, he has now assured that he will appear in Islamabad tomorrow [Saturday]. He’ll be there.”
Khan, a former cricketer, also told Al Jazeera that at least 85 cases have been filed against him since he was removed from office by a parliamentary vote in April.
He has since held public rallies to demand immediate national elections. He was shot and wounded during one of those meetings in November.
Khan told Al Jazeera that the people who want to arrest him are the same people who tried to kill him.
“I believe the same people who are now trying to put me in prison were responsible for the attempt on my life,” he said without naming names.
Additional reporting by Abid Hussain of Al Jazeera in Islamabad