The arrest warrant for former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has been suspended, his lawyers announced on Friday, paving the way for an end to the blockade of his residence that has sparked bloody clashes between his supporters and police in beginning of the week.

Overthrown in April 2022 by a motion of no confidence, Imran Khan is embroiled in dozens of legal cases as he campaigns for a snap election to return to power.

The arrest warrant follows his failure to appear in a court in Islamabad on Saturday to answer charges that he failed to declare all diplomatic gifts received during his tenure and made money from them. reselling some, which he denies.

Police attempts to arrest the 70-year-old former cricketer star led to clashes with his supporters gathered outside his residence this week in the eastern city of Lahore.

“The High Court in Islamabad has suspended the arrest warrant,” Faisal Chaudhry, one of Khan’s lawyers, told AFP.

“Imran will appear in court tomorrow,” he added.

After the warrant was lifted, Mr Khan left his home for the first time in several days to appear in a Lahore court following the clashes this week.

Dozens of his supporters rushed to his convoy, cheering him and waving flags of his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

Overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday, police repeatedly clashed with PTI supporters in the affluent Zaman Park suburb of Lahore, firing tear gas and dodging rocks thrown by angry crowds.

Since then, supporters of Mr Khan have stood guard outside his residence, fearing that the police will return to arrest him.

Mr. Khan says he fears for his life if imprisoned and accuses the authorities of wanting to prevent him from running in the elections which are due to take place by October.

“We have serious doubts about his safety,” said Shibli Faraz, Mr Khan’s chief of staff, on Friday.

In November, he was shot in the leg during a political rally. An assassination attempt he attributed to his successor Shehbaz Sharif.


17/03/2023 15:17:02  –         Lahore (Pakistan) (AFP) –         © 2023 AFP