Imran Khan to go to Lahore court seeking halt of arrest warrant
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The former prime minister to march to the high court with hundreds of his supporters as a tense calm prevails in the city.
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will attend a court in the eastern city of Lahore to support his plea seeking to halt an arrest warrant against him.
Khan would go to the Lahore High Court on Friday to “support his plea against his arrest warrant and police action”, his close aide, Fawad Chaudhry, said.
Azhar Siddique, part of Khan’s legal team in Lahore, told Al Jazeera Khan is seeking protective bail against the cases filed against him in Lahore and capital Islamabad. He said it was a routine matter to seek bails from higher courts in cases filed in another city.
Musarrat Cheema, a politician belonging to Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, told Al Jazeera the party chief will leave his residence in Lahore’s Zaman Park area shortly.
A two-member bench has been constituted in the Lahore High Court to hear Khan’s appeal.
Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder, reporting from outside Khan’s residence in Lahore, said hundreds of his supporters would accompany his convoy to the court.
“Four new cases have been registered here in Lahore against Imran Khan. And that is pertaining to the resistance that his supporters showed towards the police when they came to arrest him,” Hyder said.
Earlier this week, the Lahore neighbourhood was the site of pitched battles between Khan’s supporters and the security forces who wanted to arrest him in an alleged corruption case.
Khan is accused of selling state gifts given to him when he was the prime minister from 2018 to 2022. The 70-year-old politician denies the charges.
Khan’s decision to visit the Lahore High Court came shortly after it extended a ban on police action around his Zaman Park residence in the city till 3pm (10:00 GMT) on Friday.
Meanwhile, a tense calm prevails in the neighbourhood as hundreds of Khan’s supporters, some armed with batons and iron rods, continue to barricade his home.
Khan’s aide Chadhury also said the PTI has filed a plea on Friday at the Islamabad High Court to suspend the arrest warrant in the state gifts case. The PTI petition came a day after a lower court in the national capital rejected a similar request made by the party.
Khan is due to appear in Islamabad court on Saturday. He told Al Jazeera on Thursday he will.
PTI leader Cheema said Khan “never shied away from appearing before the court and it was only due to the security concerns”.
“Imran Khan never intended to embarrass the courts. All he said was that the location of the court is congested and he has genuine security concerns, due to which he asked for a possibility of clubbing all the cases together. However, he has now given assurance of his appearance in Islamabad tomorrow (Saturday). He will be there,” she said.
Khan, the former cricket star, also told Al Jazeera at least 85 cases have been filed against him after he was removed from office in a parliamentary vote in April last year.
Since then, he has been holding public rallies to demand immediate national elections. He was shot and wounded at one of those rallies in November.
In an interview with Al Jazeera on Thursday, Khan said the people who want to arrest him are the same people who attempted to assassinate him.
“I believe the same people now trying to put me in jail were responsible for the attempt on my life,” he said, without giving any names.