Thousands of supporters gathered outside the home of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was released on bail on Friday, May 12.
Khan arrived at his residence in the eastern city of Lahore early on Saturday, May 13, as rejoiced supporters showered his car with rose petals and set off fireworks.
Khan said late at night, after finally leaving the High Court in Islamabad, that he had been delayed by the police who said they feared for his safety.
One of his lawyers, Naeem Haider, said the police told him they delayed Khan’s departure because of a shooting outside the court.
The court ordered Khan be released on bail for two weeks, his lawyer said on Friday, after his arrest in a land fraud case ignited deadly protests and a tussle with the military.
Speaking to journalists inside the court earlier on Friday Khan welcomed the court’s order and said the judiciary was Pakistan’s only protection against the “law of the jungle”.
The arrest, which the Supreme Court ruled “invalid and unlawful” a day earlier, has fuelled instability in the nation of 220 million at a time of economic crisis, with record inflation, anaemic growth and delayed IMF funding.
The 70-year-old cricket hero-turned-politician was ousted as prime minister in April 2022 in a parliamentary no-confidence vote and is Pakistan’s most popular leader according to opinion polls.