Pakistan court appearance for ex-PM Khan after unlawful arrest ruling

Photo Courtesy Bangkok Post

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, 70, was due to appear in court today after the Supreme Court deemed his arrest earlier this week, which led to deadly clashes across the country, to be unlawful. Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial declared Khan’s arrest invalid yesterday, necessitating a review of the entire process.

Khan was ordered to remain in the bench’s custody under police protection for his own safety until his court appearance today. Nevertheless, the government has sworn to re-arrest Khan if he is released, potentially causing further unrest.

Ever since being removed from office last April, Khan has been pursuing a tumultuous campaign for early elections while leveling unprecedented criticism at Pakistan’s political and military elites. He has accused them of conspiring to assassinate him in November, during which he was shot in the leg.

Simultaneously, Khan has become entangled in numerous legal cases – a common hazard for opposition figures in Pakistan, where, according to human rights groups, courts are used to suppress dissent reports Bangkok Post.

Related news

On Tuesday, the former cricket star was arrested on corruption charges at the Islamabad High Court, with dozens of paramilitary troops taking him into custody. However, Chief Justice Bandial stated on Thursday that arrests should not occur on court premises.

Amid celebrations surrounding the reversal of Khan’s arrest, his supporters clashed with police, who fired tear gas canisters into the crowd. Although this is a temporary relief for Khan, analyst Imtiaz Gul stated that with dozens of cases against him, he “has a long way to go.”

Gul added that the complex of criminal cases against Khan seems designed to entangle him and hinder active politics as elections approach in October.

Protests erupted across several Pakistani cities this week in response to Khan’s detainment, resulting in at least nine fatalities, injured police officers, and more than 2,000 arrests, primarily in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces. At least eight officials from Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party accused of organizing the protests have also been detained, according to Islamabad police.

Security forces have used tear gas, water cannon, batons, and riot shields to manage the crowds. Khan has accused Pakistan’s powerful military, which has considerable influence over domestic politics and foreign policy, of colluding with the government to keep him out of power since he was ousted in a no-confidence vote in parliament in April 2022. In Pakistan’s history, several politicians have faced arrest and imprisonment; however, few have directly challenged the military to the extent that Khan has.

World News

Jenn

With a Bachelor's Degree in English, Jenn has plenty of experience writing and editing on different topics. After spending many years teaching English in Thailand, Jenn has come to love writing about Thai culture and the experience of being an ex-pat in Thailand. During long holidays, she travels to North of Thailand just to have Khao Soi!

Related Articles