A look at the top developments from crisis-hit Pakistan:

  1. The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Thursday ordered the immediate release of former Prime Minister Imran Khan who was arrested in a corruption case on Tuesday, Dawn reported. A bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial termed his arrest unlawful. The court also criticised the manner in which Khan was arrested during a court appearance in Islamabad on Tuesday. “What dignity remains of the court if 90 people entered its premises?” Bandial asked. “How can any individual be arrested from court premises?”
  2. The Supreme Court has said that Khan would be kept at the Police Lines Guest House but would not be considered a prisoner. It has also directed the Islamabad police chief to ensure that the former prime minister is safe. 
  3. Soon after the order, Khan issued urged his supporters to remain peaceful. “We only want elections in the country,” he maintained. The former prime minister also alleged that he was treated “like a terrorist” in custody.
  4. Khan was arrested from the Islamabad High Court and whisked away to an unknown location overnight on Tuesday. The case against him pertains to the acquisition of land for the Al-Qadir Trust, a non-governmental welfare organisation whose trustees are Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi. The former premier has been accused of granting favours to Malik Riaz Hussain, a powerful real estate tycoon, with a university run by the trust outside Islamabad getting land and donations in return.
  5. On Wednesday, nationwide protests called in the wake of Khan’s arrest intensified across Pakistan. At least eight persons were killed and 290 were injured in clashes that erupted between supporters of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf chief and security forces, Dawn reported. The government called in the Army after several monuments and government buildings were torched by the protestors.    
  6. On Wednesday, Khan told a court in Islamabad that he may be injected with poison while in custody, The News International reported. He claimed that he may be given “an injection that causes a person to die slowly”. The court, however, remanded the former prime minister to eight days of custody of the National Accountability Bureau, an anti-corruption body.
  7. The Pakistan Army said that it showed restraint during earlier protests, but any further attacks on military installations or other government properties “will be met with severe retaliation”, Al-Jazeera reported. It said that it would take stern action against those who seek to push Pakistan towards a “civil war”. On Tuesday, several of Khan’s supporters torched the residence of the corps commander in Lahore and laid siege to the Army’s headquarters in the city of Rawalpindi.
  8. Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said in a televised address that the government will not tolerate violent protests, the BBC reported. “The perpetrators who take the law into their own hands will be dealt with with an iron hand,” he added. Pakistan People’s Party leader and former President Asif Ali Zardari also said that the rioting that took place in several cities was shameful. He said that Khan should face the courts instead of running away.