In a significant development, Pakistan’s Supreme Court has ruled that the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier this week was illegal and ordered his immediate release. This decision comes one day after another court had granted permission to hold Khan for eight days on corruption charges.
Imran Khan, arrested on Tuesday, has been facing accusations of corruption. Now Pakistan’s Supreme Court orders release of Ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan. Read more.
Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial declared the arrest invalid and emphasized the need to backtrack the entire process. Addressing Khan, the chief justice urged him to appeal to his supporters to maintain peace and tranquility.
Following Imran Khan’s detention, violent clashes erupted in several major Pakistani cities, with pro-Khan supporters denouncing the powerful army. Some protesters attempted to set a police station ablaze in Islamabad on Wednesday night, while others publicly questioned the military’s involvement in the country’s day-to-day affairs.
Outside the Supreme Court, Khan’s lawyers informed reporters that the former prime minister would still need to appear at the Islamabad High Court on Friday morning to continue the interrupted hearing from Tuesday. They clarified that Khan would remain under the custody of the Supreme Court, allowing limited visits from family and a select number of friends.
This political turmoil occurs amidst Pakistan’s ongoing economic crisis. Analysts express concerns that hopes for a much-needed rescue package from the International Monetary Fund are diminishing.