Clashes erupted between security forces and supporters of Imran Khan outside the judicial complex here on Saturday ahead of the ousted Pakistan premier’s appearance before a court in connection with a corruption case.
Islamabad police chief Akbar Nasir Khan told the media that Khan’s supporters resorted to violence, pelted stones at the police and also set on fire a police picket.
“Our force is tackling the situation with patience,” he said, adding that Khan was just five minutes away from driving to the court Khan arrived in Islamabad from Lahore to appear before the court. He is accompanied by his supporters.
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At least three vehicles in his convoy also met an accident near Kalar Kahar area on M-2 motorway but no casualties were reported.
Khan, 70, appeared before Lahore High Court on Friday and assured that he was ready to present himself on Saturday before Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Zafar Iqbal handling the corruption case against him.
The chief of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party has been in the dock for buying gifts, including an expensive Graff wristwatch, he had received as the premier at a discounted price from the state depository called Toshakhana and selling them for profit.
Established in 1974, the Toshakhana is a department under the administrative control of the Cabinet Division and stores precious gifts given to rulers, parliamentarians, bureaucrats, and officials by heads of other governments and states and foreign dignitaries.
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The cricketer-turned-politician was disqualified by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in October last year for not sharing details of the sales. The top electoral body later filed a complaint with the district court to punish him, under criminal laws, for selling the gifts he had received as prime minister of the country.
Khan was ousted from power in April last year after losing a no-confidence vote, becoming the first Pakistani prime minister to be voted out by the National Assembly.