By: Kimberly Rodrigues
According to an aide, Imran Khan, the former prime minister of Pakistan, is scheduled to appear in court on Friday (17) to support his request for a halt to a police operation aimed at arresting him for not attending a hearing.
Fawad Chaudhry, the aide, informed Reuters that Khan would soon visit a court in Lahore to support his plea against the arrest warrant and police action.
Legal action against Khan began after he was removed from office in a parliamentary vote early last year, following which he has been calling for a snap election and staging protests throughout the country.
Pakistan’s current prime minister Shehbaz Sharif has refused Imran Khan’s call for a snap election, affirming that an election will take place as planned later this year, once the parliament completes its five-year tenure.
Khan’s arrest warrant, which has resulted in his supporters protesting violently, was issued by an Islamabad court for charges of illegally selling state gifts, an allegation he denies.
Despite Khan being found guilty and barred from holding public office for one parliamentary term, he continues to lead protests across the country.
On Thursday (16), Sharif urged the country’s political leadership to unify in order to address Pakistan’s economic and political challenges, stressing that economic stability can only be achieved through political stability.
Speaking in the Senate during its golden jubilee celebration, Sharif also emphasised that his coalition government had prioritised the country’s interests over politics by leading during difficult economic times.
The day before, Sharif had extended an invitation to ousted prime minister Imran Khan for a dialogue to resolve the ongoing political and economic crises.
Highlighting the critical political and economic challenges Pakistan is facing, he emphasised that all parties must work together towards a better Pakistan.
Meanwhile, chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), expressed his willingness to hold discussions saying he was ready to “talk to anyone” and “render any sacrifice” for the betterment, interests, and democracy of the country.
Khan also thanked the people of Pakistan who supported him in the fight for genuine freedom, as well as his workers from Lahore and across Pakistan.
(With inputs from Reuters and PTI)