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Former Pakistani PM Khan granted bail by court

Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan arrived with his wife at an Islamabad court amid tight security on Tuesday, as he battles corruption charges.

An anti-terrorism court granted bail to Khan in at least eight cases until June 8, Pakistani broadcasters said.

His wife, Bushra Khan, joined him and also faces graft charges. She has not commented on the charges against her but Khan has rejected them.

Khan, who says the corruption charges have been concocted, was arrested and detained on May 9, sparking widespread protests by his supporters, and raising new worries about the stability of the nuclear-armed country as it struggles with its worst economic crisis in decades.

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The former international cricket star became prime minister in 2018 with the tacit support of the military, though both sides denied it at the time, but he later fell out with generals and was ousted as prime minister after losing a confidence vote in 2022.

Khan, 70, has since then been campaigning for a snap election, with rallies with his supporters across the country.

The prime minister who replaced him, Shahbaz Sharif, has rejected Khan’s call for a general election before it is due late this year.

Khan won widespread popularity among Pakistan’s 220 million people with a conservative, nationalistic agenda, and that support has been reinforced more recently by his challenge to the military establishment.

The recent protests against his arrest saw his supporters ransacking the homes of senior officers and storming army headquarters, posing an unprecedented challenge to the Muslim country’s most powerful institution.

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