Imran: Imran gets bail for 2 weeks, blanket protection from arrest till May 15 – Times of India

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ISLAMABAD: Three days after his controversial arrest plunged Pakistan into turmoil, former PM Imran Khan walked out on bail Friday wearing the legal armour of an Islamabad high court order barring government agencies from taking him into custody in any case — old or new – until May 15.
The bench that granted the 70-year-old bail for two weeks in the Al-Qadir Trust case issued a separate order specifying that Imran can’t be arrested till May 17 in any case registered against him in Islamabad after May 9, when paramilitary forces had dragged him away from the high court. The court also granted the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief protective bail for 10 days in three terrorism-related cases and another linked to murder registered in Lahore.
The blanket relief for Imran at least till the middle of next week follows the Supreme Court terming his arrest “invalid and unlawful”, an observation that led PM Shehbaz Sharif to allege Friday that the apex court was yet again favouring its “ladla (blue-eyed boy)” at the cost of justice. The Supreme Court
“When he (Imran) was presented in court yesterday, the Chief Justice said, ‘It is good to see you’. And he said this in a case of corruption,” PTI quoted Shehbaz as saying while addressing the federal cabinet. “If you want to keep favouring this ladla, then you should also release all the dacoits behind bars in the country. Let this be free for all.”
Imran’s lawyer Babar Awan Khan said the judicial system had righted a wrong, declaring the ex-PM “a free man”.
At the Islamabad high court, Imran told reporters that barring one instance of being “hit on my head” while being arrested, officials of the National Accountability Bureau treated him “fine”.
On the government blaming him for the rioting and arson that followed his arrest and terming it “terrorism”, Imran said, “How could I have stopped whatever happened? I had already told you that there would be a reaction to the arrest.”
In a video circulating on social media, Imran narrates that he was “sitting in the high court” when paramilitary troops “abducted” him. “They showed me the warrant for the first time when they took me to jail. This happens in the law of the jungle, where the army abducts. Where did the police go? Where did the law go?”
Imran claimed “40 helpless people” lost their lives in the government crackdown on protesters this week. The official toll stands at 12.
More than 3,000, including top PTI functionaries, were arrested in the wake of mob rage on the streets, including a breach of the army’s general headquarters in Rawalpindi. The government has since deployed the military in Islamabad along with Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, both strongholds of PTI.
Mobile internet remains suspended and social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have been blocked on government orders.
News agency AP reported that following the Supreme Court’s release order Thursday, wherein it asked the high court to reconsider its initial decision to uphold Imran’s arrest, the ex-PM spent the night at a government guesthouse in Islamabad. President Arif Alvi, who has been trying to defuse tension between Imran and the government, was one of his visitors, it said.
Since being ousted from office, Imran has waged a stormy campaign for snap polls in the country. He accuses senior military and government officials of plotting the November assassination attempt in which he took a bullet in the leg during a rally in Punjab province’s Wazirabad.
Watch Pakistan: Supreme Court grants bail to Imran Khan in Al-Qadir Trust case

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