General elections are due no later than October, and the former cricket star has accused the shaky incumbent coalition government of supplanting him in cahoots with top generals.
The 70-year-old has also made explosive claims that they puppeteered a November assassination attempt which saw him shot in the leg as he campaigned for snap polls.
LABYRINTHINE LEGAL CASES
Khan was arrested under the orders of Pakistan’s top graft agency as he arrived for a routine court appearance in the capital.
Two days of chaos followed, with several thousand of his supporters rampaging through cities across the country in protest, setting fire to buildings and blocking roads.
At least nine people died in the unrest, police and hospitals said.
Hundreds of police officers were injured and more than 3,500 people arrested, mostly in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, according to authorities.
On Thursday, Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial said the arrest was unlawful because it took place on court premises, where Khan had intended to file a bail application.
“Your arrest was invalid, so the whole process needs to be backtracked,” he told Khan.
Khan remained in the bench’s custody overnight under police protection for his own safety until he arrived at the Islamabad High Court, where hundreds of security forces were deployed and nearby roads shut.
“COUNTRY NEEDS PEACE”
Islamabad police had issued an emergency order banning all gatherings in the capital city after Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party called for supporters to come together.
Faisal Hussain Chaudhry, a lawyer for Khan, told reporters that further arrests of senior PTI leaders overnight brought the total number to 10.
“The country needs peace but such steps by the government are not helpful,” he said.