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.

The top court’s order on Thursday 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.

Supreme Court chief justice Umar Ata Bandial also asked Khan to issue an appeal to his supporters to remain peaceful, as the country faced growing turmoil in its streets.

Khan’s supporters were seen dancing near the court building to celebrate the decision.

Imran Khan’s lawyer says his arrest is “unconstitutional”

Authorities have also arrested at least three senior leaders of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party as of Thursday, including a former foreign minister in his cabinet during his premiership between 2018 and 2022.

A total of nearly 2,500 people have been arrested so far and at least 11 killed and dozens injured after Khan’s supporters clashed with police in several cities.


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