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Former Pakistani Prime Minister released after being summoned by a court

epa10529523 Former Prime Minister and leader of the opposition Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party Imran Khan speaks during an interview at his residence in Lahore, Pakistan on March 17, 2023 (issued March 18, 2023).  Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan says the civil-military relationship in the country is evolving, adding that there must be a balance of power between the two in Pakistan's emerging democracy.  The former prime minister was ousted from his post last year through a vote of no confidence, which Khan blamed on a US move to oust him from power.  He later claimed that he was former Pakistani army chief Qamar Bajwa, who conspired with the opposition to oust him.  EPA/RAHAT DAR

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has walked free after being summoned by an Islamabad court, which revoked the arrest warrant against him.

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was released today after being summoned by an Islamabad court, which revoked the arrest warrant against him, his lawyers announced.

Embedded in a series of court cases, a frequent risk to opposition figures, the 70-year-old former prime minister had been summoned by the court to answer allegations of corruption.

After several days of legal disputes, Khan traveled the 300 kilometers that separate Lahore from the Islamabad judicial compound, but was unable to get out of the car due to tear gas fired by the police against supporters of the former prime minister, who threw stones and bricks.

However, the court acknowledged Khan’s presence, his lawyers said.

“The court quashed the arrest warrant after recording the presence of Imran Khan. The hearing has been postponed to March 30,” one of the former prime minister’s lawyers, Gohar Khan, told AFP.

Imran Khan had been subpoenaed as part of a process initiated by the Pakistan Election Commission, which accuses him of failing to declare the gifts he received during his tenure as prime minister, nor the proceeds from their sale, accusations the target denies.

Hours earlier, Khan had released a video in which he accused the authorities of having devised a plan to arrest him and claimed that he was being colluded to prevent him from running in the elections scheduled for October.

Removed from power by a vote of no confidence in April 2022, Khan is pressuring the fragile coalition government that succeeded him to hold early elections.

Today around 4,000 security personnel, including elite police commandos and anti-terror squads, were deployed to the Islamabad area and hospitals were put on alert.

Earlier in the week, there were clashes between Khan’s supporters gathered outside his residence and police sent to arrest him. A court ended up ordering the withdrawal of law enforcement with a promise by the former prime minister to appear in court today, after having repeatedly refused to appear for security reasons.

Source: Observadora

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