ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday pressed his legal battle before a court in the capital, Islamabad, which granted him protection from arrest until early next month in several cases where he faces terrorism charges for inciting violence.
The development comes as the authorities have been cracking down on the supporters of Khan, now Pakistan’s top opposition leader. Thousands staged violence protests, and attacked public property and military installations following Khan’s arrest earlier this month.
The violence subsided only days later, after Khan was released on the orders of the country’s Supreme Court. Ten people were killed in clashes with the police.
Khan, who was ousted in a no-confidence vote in Parliament in April last year, has campaigned against the government of his successor, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, claiming his ouster was illegal and demanding early elections.
Since then, the 70-year-old former cricket star turned Islamist politician has become embroiled in more than 100 legal cases against him. He faces charges of graft purportedly committed while he was in office and has been charged with terrorism in eight cases over the violent protests by his supporters and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf opposition party.
After the Islamabad court on Tuesday granted Khan protection from arrest on terrorism charges until June 8, he and his wife travelled to the nearby city of Rawalpindi, to appear before the National Accountability Bureau to answer questions in a separate graft case.
The couple is accused of accepting the gift of property to build a private university in exchange for providing benefits to a real estate tycoon. Khan denies the charge, saying he and his wife, Bushra Bibi, were not involved in any wrongdoing.
The Associated Press