Pakistan court drops arrest warrant against Imran Khan
Imran Khan's court hearing was scheduled and is due to take place on March 30 according to his lawyers.
After Pakistani ex-PM Imran Khan showed up at court, his lawyers confirmed on Saturday that a Pakistani judge dropped the issued arrest warrant against him, which was issued originally as police attempted to arrest him for court cases after his ousting.
"The court has canceled the arrest warrant after marking Imran Khan's attendance. The hearing has been adjourned till March 30," Gohar Khan, one of Khan’s lawyers, disclosed to AFP.
It is now clear that, despite my having gotten bail in all my cases, the PDM govt intends to arrest me. Despite knowing their malafide intentions, I am proceeding to Islamabad & the court bec I believe in rule of law. But ill intent of this cabal of crooks shd be clear to all.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) March 18, 2023
Supporters of the ousted PM went head-to-head with police who were trying to arrest Khan in Lahore due to security concerns as Khan did not show up to court before. When he did this week, nearly 4,000 supporters mobbed the Islamabad court complex throwing bricks at police who threw back tear gas at the crowd.
Read next: Pakistani police retreat from ex-PM Khan's residence following clashes
As a result of the chaos, anti-terrorism squads, and paramilitary rangers have been placed around Islamabad and hospitals put on high alert as police on the other side in Lahore, raided Khan's house and blocked roads in proximity.
Khan said that there was a premeditated plan to arrest him, adding that it was part of a larger "London plan" schemed by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Recovering from an assassination attempt in Wazirabad last year, the former Prime Minister missed three indictment hearings in the case in an Islamabad sessions court.
According to Dawn, he is accused of "allegedly concealing, in his assets declarations, details of the gifts he retained from the Toshakhana — a repository where presents handed to government officials from foreign officials are kept." Islamabad Police said Khan was "avoiding" the arrest, noting that the superintendent of police had "gone into Imran’s room but he was not present there."
Al Mayadeen Media Network conducted an interview with the former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan as part of Zeinab Al Saffar's The Proximate Aspect program.
The interview comes a few days after the Islamabad police in Lahore showed up at the former premier's residence in Lahore and attempted to arrest him in cooperation with the Punjab police.
During the interview, Imran Khan touched on the current Pakistani situation and the country's sufferings, as well as the scheme that was plotted against him and the European ambassadors' request for him to condemn the Russian military operation.
He also reflected on the US presence and the Palestinian cause.
Imran Khan told Al Mayadeen that Pakistan is going through a period of huge transformation.
The former Prime Minister pointed out that the country had been taken over by "a bunch of criminals," highlighting that Pakistan's economy was going through its best period in 17 years in terms of growth rate in record exports and record agriculture production, as well as taxes, industrial growth, and IT exports.
Conspiracy followed by murder attempt
According to Khan, his government was "removed through a conspiracy."
"The conspiracy was led by an ex-army chief, after joining two crooked families who had been ruling Pakistan for 30 years. And I had replaced them, so he brought them back," he indicated.
Khan considered that all parties to the conspiracy to remove him from power are terrified of the upcoming elections because they are very well aware that his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) will "sweep the elections."
He noted that out of 37 elections, PTI won the majority, assuming power in 30 of them. Khan confirmed that these parties' fear of the election results led them to attempt to exclude, imprison, or even kill [him], describing all parties to the conspiracy as "mafias".
The former Pakistani Prime Minister confirmed that he currently faces 77 lawsuits for the same reason and brought to the audience's attention that new lawsuits continue to be filed against him -- the latest of which is blasphemy and sowing sedition and terrorism -- stressing that the point is to keep him away from the political arena.
Khan noted that he was expecting an assassination attempt against him and that he named, about two months ago in two public rallies, the parties that tried to assassinate him, namely the two families or the "mafias" who had ruled Pakistan, along with Pakistani intelligence officer General Faisal, whom he called out by name when he survived the assassination attempt.
“The assassination attempt on me was predicted by me.” #ImranKhan mentions those responsible for planning the assassination attempt at one of his rallies last year by name.@ZeinabSaffar@ImranKhanPTI@PTIofficial pic.twitter.com/UlGwZBL4gB— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) March 12, 2023
Khan said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the Minister of Interior Rana Sanaullah, and General Faisal are involved in extrajudicial killings, stressing that these three were responsible for his assassination attempt.
Regarding the prohibition order by Pakistan’s electronic media regulatory authority to ban his speeches, Imran Khan explained that this was out of fear that he would return to power through the people, since the country is on the verge of upcoming elections, approximately 60 days away.
"The reason why they ban me is that they don’t want me to campaign," he said.