A top Pakistani court here granted protective bail to beleaguered Imran Khan on Friday in eight terrorist cases and one civil case after he came before the court, only hours after another court postponed non-bailable arrest warrants against him in a corruption case until March 18, news agency PTI reported.
Khan, the 70-year-old leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), arrived in a bulletproof SUV at the Lahore High Court (LHC) to seek precautionary bail in nine cases.
According to Geo TV, a two-member LHC bench comprised of Judge Tariq Saleem Sheikh and Justice Farooq Haider heard bail petitions submitted against cases registered under terrorist laws.
The court granted bail to Khan in five instances in Islamabad until March 24, and in three cases in Lahore until March 27, according to the article.
Meanwhile, Judge Saleem heard Khan’s bail requests in connection with the civil lawsuit brought against him, according to the report.
Previously, the Islamabad High Court postponed non-bailable arrest warrants issued against Khan until March 18, allowing him to appear before the district court hearing the Toshakhana case.
A tense calm reigned in Lahore’s posh Zaman Park near Khan’s mansion, which had been the site of fierce battle for two days between his obstinate followers and Punjab Police.
The confrontations were eventually put down after the courts intervened on Wednesday.
Khan has been accused of buying presents for profit, including a costly Graff wristwatch he obtained as premier at a reduced price from the state storehouse known as Toshakhana.
The Toshakhana, established in 1974, is a department under the administrative jurisdiction of the Cabinet Division that houses valuable presents presented to monarchs, lawmakers, bureaucrats, and officials by heads of other countries and states, as well as international dignitaries.
Khan was disqualified by the Election Commission of Pakistan in October of last year for failing to provide sales information.
The electoral commission later filed a case with the district court, requesting that he be punished under criminal law for selling the gifts he received as Prime Minister of the country.
Khan has categorically refuted the allegations.
Khan stated that he was facing over 80 separate cases in various courts around Pakistan.
Khan, the cricketer-turned-politician, was deposed in April last year after losing a no-confidence vote, which he said was part of a US-led plot to destabilise him due to his independent foreign policy decisions on Russia, China, and Afghanistan.
Khan has been calling for early elections since his removal to eliminate what he calls a “imported administration” led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
Sharif has stated that elections will be conducted later this year, when the parliament’s five-year term ends.
(With Inputs From PTI)