LHC grants protective bail to Imran Khan till next Friday.

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Islamabad, The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday granted protective bail to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan as it concluded a hearing on the former prime minister’s petition seeking bail in multiple cases registered against him.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh and Justice Farooq Haider granted Khan’s protective bail in a total of eight cases. For the five cases in Islamabad, the court granted bail to the PTI chief till March 24 and for the three cases in Lahore, Khan received bail for 10 days (till March 27).

Khan reached LHC after the court directed him to appear before 5:30pm; upon his arrival, his bulletproof vehicle was allowed to enter the court premises.

The PTI chief had approached the LHC earlier in the day to seek protective bail in nine cases. Five of those cases are registered in Islamabad and four in Lahore.

Justice Sheikh and Justice Haider conducted the hearing on bail pleas filed against the cases that are lodged under terrorism sections. Meanwhile, Justice Sheikh will also hear the bail pleas that Khan filed against the civil cases registered against him.

Meanwhile, hundreds of PTI supporters shielded the party chairman’s home to thwart his arrest as the former prime minister waited to hear a ruling on whether security forces could again come after him for failing to attend the hearing in court.

Ahead of the court decision, a tense calm prevailed in Lahore Zaman Park which earlier this week was the scene of hostilities between PTI workers and Punjab Police that were advancing on Khan’s house to produce him before the court in a case in which he is accused of selling state gifts given to him by foreign dignitaries without due legal process, while he was prime minister.

Khan denies the charges.

Even though there was no police presence on Friday, witnesses said Khan’s supporters, armed with sticks and iron rods, stood guard outside his home