Pakistan’s beleaguered former prime minister Imran Khan got a huge relief on Tuesday when an anti-terrorism court granted him bail till June 8 in eight cases related to violence at the judicial complex in Islamabad in March.
The cases were registered in different police stations of Islamabad against Khan after police and his supporters clashed when he appeared before a court on March 18.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief and former cricketer was in the court for a hearing in the Toshakhana corruption case.
On Tuesday, Khan, 70, travelled from Lahore to Islamabad to appear before the anti-terrorism court.
After hearing arguments by lawyers, the court granted Khan bail in eight cases till June 8, his party said in a message.
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Established in 1974, the Toshakhana is a department under the administrative control of the Cabinet Division and stores precious gifts given to rulers, MPs and officials by heads of other governments and states and foreign dignitaries.
Khan was disqualified by the Election Commission of Pakistan in October last year for not sharing details of the sales.
Meanwhile, an accountability court in Islamabad stopped the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from arresting Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi by granting her interim bail in the Al-Qadir Trust case.
During the hearing, her lawyer Khawaja Haris informed the court that Bushra Bibi did not receive any notice from the NAB.
The court accepted the bail application till May 31 and issued a notice to NAB seeking its reply.
It was the first appearance by the former first lady in a court to attend proceedings in a case lodged against her. The deposed prime minister is on bail till May 31 in the same case.
Before leaving Lahore, Khan urged his supporters to remain clam even if he was arrested.
“If you get violent, they will get a chance to crack down again,” he said in a brief message. “We have to always protest peacefully.”
Khan also told the media in the court that his PTI will not fade away despite a vicious nationwide crackdown since the May 9 violence following his arrest that has seen thousands of PTI leaders and activists jailed.
Asked about some party colleagues quitting PTI, media reports quoted him as saying: “People are not leaving PTI. They are being made to. They are making them leave the party at gunpoint.”
Khan also warned that the diminishing vote bank of the ruling PDM coalition would lead to its political destruction.
(With agency inputs)