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The former prime minister marches to the Supreme Court with hundreds of his supporters as a tense calm reigns in the city.
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will appear at the Supreme Court in the eastern city of Lahore for protective bail after multiple arrest warrants have been issued against him.
Azhar Siddique, part of Khan’s legal team in Lahore, said Al Jazeera Khan is seeking bail against the cases brought against him in Lahore and capital Islamabad. He said it was a routine matter to seek bail from higher courts in cases filed in another city.
Musarrat Cheema, a politician who is a member of Khan’s Pakistani party Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), told Al Jazeera that the party chief will soon leave his residence in the Zaman Park area of Lahore.
A two-member bench has been formed at the Lahore High Court to hear Khan’s appeal.
Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder, reporting from outside Khan’s residence in Lahore, said hundreds of his supporters would accompany his convoy to court.
“Four new cases have been registered against Imran Khan here in Lahore. And that has to do with the resistance his supporters showed to the police when they came to arrest him,” said Hyder.
Earlier this week, the Lahore district was the scene of violent clashes between Khan’s supporters and security forces seeking to arrest him in an alleged corruption case.
Khan is accused of selling state gifts given to him when he was prime minister from 2018 to 2022. The 70-year-old politician denies the allegations.
Khan’s decision to visit the Lahore High Court came shortly after it extended a ban on police action around his Zaman Park residence in the city until 3pm (10pm GMT) on Friday.
Meanwhile, a tense calm reigns in the neighborhood as hundreds of Khan’s supporters, some armed with clubs and iron bars, continue to barricade his house.
Khan’s supporters gather with sticks near his residence in Zaman Park in Lahore (KM Chaudhry/AP)
Khan’s aide Chadhury also said that the PTI on Friday submitted a plea to the Islamabad High Court to suspend the arrest warrant in the state gift case. The PTI petition came a day after a lower court in the national capital rejected a similar request from the party.
Khan is due to appear in court in Islamabad on Saturday. He told Al Jazeera on Thursday.
PTI leader Cheema said Khan “never shied away from appearing in court and only because of security concerns”.
“Imran Khan never intended to embarrass the courts. All he said was that the court venue is congested and he is genuinely concerned about safety, which is why he asked for an opportunity to bring all the cases together. However, he has now assured that he will appear in Islamabad tomorrow (Saturday). He will be there,” she said.
Khan, the former cricketer, also told Al Jazeera that at least 85 cases have been filed against him after he was removed from office in a parliamentary vote last April.
He has since held public rallies to demand immediate national elections. He was shot and wounded during one of those meetings in November.
In an interview with Al Jazeera on Thursday, Khan said the people who want to arrest him are the same people who tried to kill him.
“I believe the same people who are now trying to put me in prison were responsible for the attempt on my life,” he said without naming names.