Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan had an arrest warrant issued for him, but it was lifted on Friday, his lawyers said, allowing him to leave the house where he had been holding out since Tuesday, when violent clashes broke out between his supporters and police.
Khan, who was removed from office in a vote of no confidence last year, is currently campaigning for early elections in the hopes of returning to that position.
The Election Commission of Pakistan filed a case against him in an Islamabad court, accusing him of failing to disclose gifts he received as prime minister or the profit he made from selling them.
This week, police in the eastern city of Lahore attempted to arrest the former international cricket star, who is now 70 years old, leading to violent clashes between police and his supporters outside his home.
The arrest warrant was stayed Friday night after legal proceedings spanned both cities for the entire day.
“The Islamabad High Court has suspended non-bailable arrest warrant,” said Faisal Chaudhry, a senior member of Khan’s legal team.
The next day, “Imran will appear in the court,” he told AFP.
Due to the lifting of the warrant, Khan finally left his house after being confined for days in order to appear in Lahore court in a case involving the recent violence.
Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party supporters surrounded his convoy as it slowly left the compound, cheering and waving PTI flags.
The wealthy Zaman Park neighborhood saw repeated clashes between police and PTI supporters overnight on Tuesday, with officers firing fusillades of teargas and dodging rocks thrown by angry crowds.
PTI supporters have been keeping vigil outside his house ever since, fearful that the police will come back and arrest him.
Khan claims he will die in prison and that the authorities want him locked up to keep him from running in an election that must take place by October.
In a statement released on Friday, Khan’s chief of staff Shibli Faraz expressed concern over the safety of their boss.
Even as the political drama plays out, Pakistan’s economy is in the midst of a severe downturn, and the country risks defaulting if it is unable to secure assistance from the International Monetary Fund.
There has been a rise in deadly attacks on police that have been traced back to the Pakistani Taliban, further weakening the country’s security.
Khan has been putting pressure on the coalition government that replaced him by holding popular rallies and delivering daily addresses that have been broadcast on social media. The coalition government is led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
Khan claims that Sharif was responsible for an assassination attempt last year in which he was shot in the leg during a political rally.