Conflicts & War

Pakistan’s top court orders Imran Khan’s release

Islamabad, May 11 (EFE).- The Pakistan opposition got a major relief on Thursday when the highest court ordered the release of the former prime minister, Imran Khan, two days after his arrest, which sparked deadly crisis across the country.

“We believe that Imran Khan’s arrest was illegal,” Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial said, according to the local media.

The chief justice said the graft case, which resulted in Khan’s dramatic imprisonment on Tuesday, would be heard by the Islamabad High Court on Friday.

“You will have to accept whatever the high court decides,” the top judge told Khan, ordering his immediate release.

Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party welcomed “the decision of the Supreme Court that annulled the arrest of chairman Imran Khan.”

Earlier, the apex court directed the police to bring the incarcerated leader before it.

The three-member Supreme Court bench led by Bandial sought an explanation from the police on “how Khan could be arrested from court premises,” judicial officer Ishtiaq Ahmed told EFE.

The official said the court lashed out at the authorities as “the judges were of the view that due legal procedure was not followed when Imran Khan was arrested.”

Khan was held by the paramilitary troopers on Tuesday from a court complex in the capital, sparking clashes between his supporters and police that claimed at least eight lives.

The former prime minister, who faces several corruption and terrorism charges, was taken into custody in a graft case relating to alleged financial malpractices in setting up a multi-million dollar university project trust in the eastern Punjab province.

The arrest sparked violent protests that have plunged the nuclear-armed South Asian country into fresh turmoil.

As Khan remained incarcerated, Pakistani authorities launched a widespread crackdown on his supporters and PTI leader, detaining hundreds in overnight raids.

Among the arrested is the second-in-command of the political party led by Khan.

Pakistan, a predominantly Muslim country with a population of 231 million, suffered three days of the deadly crisis.

The government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has not provided any official information regarding the number of casualties. However, PTI claims that over 50 people have lost their lives, and approximately 120 others have been injured.

According to a spokesperson from the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, they received three deceased individuals on Tuesday, while one of the injured patients passed away at the facility.

As per reports, at least four individuals lost their lives on Tuesday.

The deteriorating situation compelled the government to request the army’s assistance in restoring order.

On Tuesday, some protesters broke into the army’s general headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi while others stormed regional military commands in Lahore and Peshawar.

Khan took office in 2018, promising an end to endemic corruption in the country and to create an Islamic welfare state as a response to Pakistan’s economic crisis.

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