Imran Khan's arrest warrant in the Toshakhana case is revoked by a Pakistani court

Imran Khan's arrest warrant in the Toshakhana case is revoked by a Pakistani court

In the midst of confrontations between Imran Khan's supporters and police outside the courthouse, a Pakistani judge on Saturday revoked the former premier's arrest warrants in the Toshakhana corruption case and let him to go without charging him.

Khan travelled from Lahore to Islamabad to appear before Additional District and Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal in connection with a charge the Election Commission of Pakistan filed against him for allegedly failing to disclose information about gifts in his asset declarations.

After waiting for hours for the 70-year-old leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party to arrive in court, Judge Iqbal accepted his lawyer's offer to have the former prime minister sign the attendance sheet in his car in order to meet with the court's in-person presence requirements.

After noting Khan's presence outside the Islamabad Court Complex, where he was scheduled to be charged in the Toshakhana case, the judge let Khan to return to Lahore.

"The circumstances as it is, the hearing and appearance cannot continue that is why all individuals who have come here should depart after recording attendance. The hearing cannot take place today; there is no need for shelling or pelting," the judge was reported as saying by the Dawn daily.

As a result of the pandemonium that followed fights between police and PTI workers, Judge Iqbal also revoked the arrest warrants that had been issued against Khan in the Toshakhana case and postponed the hearing to March 30.

Due to the impact of the tear gas, many present in the courtroom were having trouble, and PTI party members began throwing stones at the courthouse.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi, a senior PTI leader, told the media that Khan was leaving the courthouse after all legal requirements for his attendance had been satisfied. Khan left the situation without being charged.

Khan had already arrived on the court grounds, but he was unable to enter the courtroom because of the worsening law and order situation.

In a video message, Khan had issued a warning that he anticipated an effort to have him arrested.

The electronic media watchdog Pemra has banned television coverage of political gatherings and the Judiciary Complex.

"Pakistan's day went by without any major disasters. [...] A tight escape. Any significant accident may have occurred, President Arif Alvi, a member of Khan's party, tweeted.

Alvi urged all lawmakers to cooperate in order to help the nation resolve its present problems.

Maryam Nawaz, senior vice president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, joked that Khan was a "jackal who is afraid of being caught which is why he is avoiding to step outside of his vehicle." Before Khan's court appearance, there were earlier altercations between security personnel and Khan's supporters outside the courthouse.

Akbar Nasir Khan, the head of the Islamabad police, informed the media that Khan's supporters used force, hurled stones at the police, and even set a police picket on fire.

He stated, "Our force is handling the matter with patience," noting that Khan will soon be going to the court in about five minutes.

At the courthouse in Islamabad's G-11, where Khan appeared, strict security measures were in place.

Khan, who had escaped an attempted murder in November of last year, was protected by a significant police presence in the vicinity.

Khan travelled from Lahore to Islamabad to appear in court. He was driven by a caravan of his backers. On the M-2 motorway, at least three of the cars in his convoy were also involved in an accident, although there were no reported injuries.

On Friday, he went before the Lahore High Court and said that he would be prepared to appear before Judge Iqbal on Saturday to answer charges of corruption brought against him.

Khan has been accused of purchasing presents, including a pricey Graff timepiece, from the state storehouse known as Toshakhana at a reduced price and then reselling them for a profit.

Hours after Khan departed for Islamabad, over 10,000 armed members of the Punjab police conducted a large operation at his Zaman Park mansion in Lahore, arresting hundreds of his party members and claiming to have found guns and petrol bombs.

Khan's Zaman Park home was the target of a "major operation" by the police, which included dismantling all camps and barricades that had been established there by party members to keep him from being arrested in the Toshakhana case.

61 party members were detained during the operation, while approximately 10 PTI members and three police officers also sustained injuries.

For two days earlier this week, Khan's Lahore home was a battleground for his "arrest operation" in the case involving his party members, police, and Rangers.

The Lahore High Court ordered the operation to stop earlier last week, but the PTI staff members were able to thwart the arrest attempt.

After the operation, Punjab's Inspector General of Police Dr. Usman Anwar informed a news conference that the police had previously paused the operation at Zaman Park due to an LHC order and a PSL match.

"The court, however, did not prevent us from initiating legal action against those responsible for the assault on the police. Around lunchtime today, we began an operation. Notwithstanding the PTI employees' resistance, we were able to maintain control of the scene and arrest 61 people "added he.

Twenty firearms, including Kalashnikovs, as well as petrol bomb bottles, according to the IGP, had been found in Khan's home.

He said that a complaint will be filed against Khan for the construction of bunkers in the Zaman Park region.

He said that once police obtained search warrants, they broke into Khan's home.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) disqualified the former cricketer-turned-politician in October of last year because he withheld information about the sales. In order to punish him for selling the gifts he had acquired as the nation's prime minister under criminal law, the top electoral body subsequently filed a lawsuit with the district court.

Khan became the first prime minister in Pakistan to be removed from office by the National Assembly in April of last year after losing a motion of no confidence.