A Pakistan Court on Wednesday reserved its order on the bail plea of former Prime Minister Imran Khan and asked the city police to stop its operation outside the ex-cricketer's house.
Supporters and workers of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) have been clashing with Pakistan police since the last 24 hours over Imran Khan's arrest after a non-bailable warrant was issued against him in the ongoing Toshakhana (gift depository) case.
But the cops and security personnel have been ordered to leave the premises by the Court and were seen leaving the Lahore neighbourhood were Khan's home is located.
Khan was then seen standing outside his home, wearing a transparent gas mask and talking to supporters.
PSL in jeopardy due to choas in Pakistan
A senior police official said the court-ordered operation to arrest Khan, a former international cricketer, was halted temporarily to accommodate cricket's Pakistan Super League (PSL), the country's top sporting event which is being played at a stadium a few km (miles) away from Khan's neighbourhood.
"We can't afford to risk the security and safety of the PSL," said the official, who declined to be named because they were not authorised to speak to the media. "The court orders will be implemented."
A lower court in the capital Islamabad had last week issued an arrest warrant against Khan for defying orders to present himself in court to defend charges that he unlawfully sold state gifts given to him by foreign dignitaries while he was prime minister from 2018 to 2022.
Political unrest in Pakistan after Khan's ouster
The legal proceedings against Khan began after he was ousted from office in a parliamentary vote early last year. Since then, he has been demanding a snap election and holding nationwide protest rallies, and was shot and wounded in one of these rallies. Current Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has rejected Khan's demands, saying the election would be held as scheduled later this year.
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