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Imran Khan returns home after court grants bail

Haleema Khan, nephew welcomed PTI chief
A combination of pictures show family members and PTI supporters welcome PTI chief Imran Khan as he reaches his Lahore residence, Zaman Park, on May 13, 2023. Screengrab
A combination of pictures show family members and PTI supporters welcome PTI chief Imran Khan as he reaches his Lahore residence, Zaman Park, on May 13, 2023. Screengrab

PTI chief Imran Khan arrived at his Lahore residence, Zaman Park, from Islamabad in the wee hours of Saturday after the Islamabad High Court granted him bail in several cases.

Khan’s sister Haleema, his nephew, and several supporters of PTI welcomed him when he arrived at Zaman Park. He was brought to the toll plaza in the Islamabad IGP’s vehicle. He rested at the Chakri Rest Room for a while before leaving for Punjab’s capital in a bulletproof vehicle along with his security team.

Footage showed that a large number of PTI supporters welcomed him and showered rose petals when his vehicle reached Zaman Park.

In a video recorded during his journey to Lahore, the PTI chief accused the Islamabad IGP of making extensive efforts to prevent him from leaving for Punjab’s capital as it was “dangerous” to go out. He added that they were kept waiting for three hours.

“We persuaded him to let us go by saying that we will tell the entire Pakistani nation that you [Islamabad IGP] that you have kidnapped us and that are keeping us here forcefully,” Khan said, “and because of this pressure he let us go.”

The PTI chief added that when they came out, they found that the roads were empty and there was no such “danger”. He thanked all the people who were standing on the route for him

In another video, Khan accused the authorities of having ill intentions as they apparently detained him in the court despite getting bail in “all cases”.

He was of the view that people should take to the streets when the rule of law was implemented in the country.

Khan left the IHC hours after a host of written orders eliminated all possibilities of his arrest on Monday. He cannot be arrested even under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) law that governments have often applied against rival politicians.

Imran Khan waited on the court premises for the written orders hours after multiple benches of the IHC had heard his bail applications. He was finally ushered out via the judge’s gate after 10 pm.

“They keep trying to silence Khan and keep trying to put him behind bars. But Khan has proven that the one who stands with the truth always wins,” 21-year-old supporter Waqar Ahsan told AFP after Khan was granted bail.

Zuneira Shah, a 40-year-old mother of three, feared that “the establishment would keep coming for him”.

“Khan is threatening their decades of corruption so of course they will not sit still. It’s a long fight ahead, but today is a victory.”

Sanaullah hints at Khan’s ‘re-arrest’

“There should not be any violation of a court order. But if there is a way to arrest Imran Khan (within the bounds of) the court order, then it will definitely be done,” Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah told private television channel Geo News on Friday.

Mobile data services and access to social media platforms including Facebook and YouTube, which were cut shortly after Khan’s arrest on Tuesday, were gradually being restored around the country.

Khan has launched an unprecedented campaign of defiance against the military, which independent analysts say helped him rise and fall from power.

Khan has accused the shaky coalition government of supplanting him in cahoots with top generals, and made explosive claims that they puppeteered a November assassination attempt that saw him shot in the leg as he campaigned for snap polls.

(With input from AFP)

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