Pakistan's ex-PM Khan to ask court to halt police arrest warrant


Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan plans to go to court on Friday to support a plea he made to halt a police operation to arrest him for failing to attend a hearing, an aide said.

Khan would soon go to a court in the city of Lahore to "support his plea against his arrest warrant and police action", the aide, Fawad Chaudhry, told Reuters.

The legal proceedings against the former cricket star began after he was ousted from office in a parliamentary vote early last year.

Since then, Khan, 70, has been demanding a snap election and holding protests across the country. He was shot and wounded at one of those rallies.

Current Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has rejected Khan's demands, saying an election would be held as scheduled later this year.

The political wrangling comes as nuclear-armed Pakistan struggles with an economic crisis. It is awaiting a bailout package of $1.1 billion from the IMF.

The warrant for Khan's arrest was issued by a court in the capital, Islamabad, when he failed to appear over charges that he unlawfully sold state gifts given to him by foreign dignitaries when he was prime minister from 2018 to 2022. Khan denies the charges.

The Election Commission of Pakistan had found Khan guilty and barred him from holding public office for one parliamentary term.

Attempts to arrest Khan for failing to show up for the case have this week triggered angry outburts by his supporters who hurled petrol bombs at the security forces who responded with tear gas and water cannon.

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