A court in Pakistan has suspended a police operation to arrest former prime minister Imran Khan after violent clashes broke out between his supporters and law enforcement outside his residence. Police arrived at Khan’s house after a lower court in Islamabad issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for him not appearing before it despite several summonses. Khan is accused of illegally selling state gifts during his premiership from 2018 to 2022, which he denies.

On Wednesday, the Lahore high court ordered police to postpone their efforts to arrest Khan until the following day. The police accused Khan’s supporters of using petrol bombs against them and burning cars and transformers. The officers who came to arrest Khan clashed with supporters who had gathered outside his house. More than 60 police personnel were reportedly injured in the clashes, while at least eight protesters and 15 protesters were arrested.

Hearing the petition over Khan’s non-bailable arrest warrant, the Islamabad high court’s chief justice told Khan’s lawyer that supporters of “a political party,” referring to Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, were attacking police in Lahore, and that it was “an attack on the state.” The chief justice reserved a verdict on the case after Khan agreed to appear before the court on Saturday.

The former information minister Fawad Chaudhry, who is a close aide of Khan, said they had feared the possibility of an assassination attempt on Khan and that they “had specific information from Afghanistan regarding [an] assassination attempt.” Men throw objects amid smoke on a street littered with debris Supporters of Imran Khan during the clashes with police on Wednesday.

Muneeb Farooq, a political analyst, said if Khan was arrested, his safety would be the responsibility of the government. Farooq said Khan could have avoided the clashes by giving himself up for arrest. “The path Khan has chosen for himself, and [the] provocative speeches he is giving, mean anarchy and chaos,” he said. The legal proceedings against Khan began after he was ousted from office in a parliamentary vote early last year. Since then, he has held protest rallies across the country demanding a snap election, during one of which he was shot and wounded.

The current prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif, has rejected Khan’s demands, saying the election will be held as scheduled later this year. Political infighting is common in Pakistan, where no prime minister has yet fulfilled a full term and where the military has ruled for nearly half of the country’s history. Khan’s arrest has further heightened political tensions in the country, with both his supporters and detractors taking to the streets in protest.

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