Islamabad High Court temporarily suspends arrest warrant against former Pakistani PM Imran Khan

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Khan in November after an assassination attempt.
Image: Voice of America.

On Tuesday, the High Court of Islamabad, Pakistan suspended for five days a non-bailable arrest warrant for Imran Khan, chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party and a former prime minister.

The court ordered Khan, 70, to appear in the Islamabad District and Sessions Court on March 13, denying a request by his attorney, Ali Bukhari, for a four-week moratorium on the warrant.

According to authorities, during his premiership Khan purchased discount items, including a Graff wristwatch, from the Toshakhana government depository, resold them for profit, and failed to mention these activities in his asset declaration.

Khan has repeatedly skipped hearings, citing security and health concerns.

On Twitter Tuesday, Khan accused now-prime minister Shehbaz Sharif's government of arranging the 76 charges he faces: "This is what happens when a bunch of criminals are imposed on a nation by those who are devoid of intelligence, morality & ethics."

On Monday, the District and Sessions Court declined Khan's plea to revoke the warrant. The previous day, Islamabad Police had unsuccessfully attempted to arrest the former cricketer at his house in Lahore, clashing with PTI supporters outside the building.

In October, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) found Khan issued "false statements and incorrect declarations" on the Toshakhana transactions, advising authorities to file a criminal complaint.