Pakistan’s High Court has extended the stay of former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s arrest by another day.

He ordered the police to delay the arrest of the cricketer-turned-politician in order to soften the upsurge in violence as his supporters engaged in heavy fighting with security forces.

Khan’s aide Fawad Chaudhry said the Lahore High Court extended the order to end the police operation until Friday. Minister of State Information Amir Mir confirmed the decision of the court.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, dozens of Khan’s supporters, armed with clubs and slingshots, barricaded his home to prevent security officials from arresting him for failing to appear in court on a series of corruption charges related to the illegal sale of government gifts given to him during his time as prime minister.

Khan’s court-ordered arrest attempt, which began on Tuesday, sparked clashes between his supporters and security forces in his Lahore district, raising concerns about the political stability of nuclear-weapon Pakistan amid an economic crisis.

The violence, in which protesters set fire to police cars, a water cannon truck and dozens of cars and motorcycles, and firebombed security forces with tear gas and rubber bullets, subsided after the Supreme Court stopped the police operation on Wednesday.

A lower court in Islamabad has issued a warrant against former international cricketer Khan for violating an order to appear in court on charges of illegally selling government gifts given to him by foreign dignitaries when he was prime minister from 2018 to 2022.

Khan denies the allegations. The National Electoral Commission found him guilty and banned Khan from public office for one parliamentary term.

The trial against Khan began after he was removed from office in parliamentary elections early last year. Since then, he has been demanding early elections and nationwide protest rallies, and was wounded at one of these rallies.

The current prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif, has rejected Khan’s demands, saying elections will take place as scheduled later this year.

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Eddie Hudson is an Entertainment News Reporter and Fashion Stylist. Graduated with a degree in Television Production from Howard University. He is an award-winning entertainment news reporter at 24PalNews and credits his upbringing and passion for helping others as the foundation for his success.

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