KABUL (BNA) Pakistan’s Supreme Court has ruled the arrest of former prime minister Imran Khan to be illegal and ordered for him to be immediately released.
However, the country’s top court on Thursday also instructed that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief would remain under police protection at the Police Lines compound in Islamabad, where he has been kept since his arrest on Tuesday.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial also asked Khan to seek relief tomorrow from the Islamabad High Court, where he was arrested, on the issue of the NAB arrest warrant and said Khan will have to accept the decision of the court in this regard.
Bandial also asked Khan to issue an appeal to his supporters to remain peaceful, as the country faced growing turmoil in its streets.
The top court’s order came after Khan’s legal team challenged his arrest by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in a corruption case on Tuesday, triggering violent protests across the country and prompting the government to call out the army to help restore order
Khan’s supporters were seen dancing near the court building to celebrate the decision. According to PTI, many of its supporters were planning to gather in various cities to celebrate the top court’s decision.
Pakistan’s President Arif Alvi, who is also a senior PTI leader, said he was “alarmed, shocked, and deeply disturbed” over the situation in the country.
“Protest is a constitutional right of every citizen of Pakistan but should always remain within the bounds of the law. The way some miscreants have damaged public property, particularly government and military buildings, is condemnable,” the president said in a statement on Thursday.