Having locked himself in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) premises for hours for fear of arrest despite being granted bail on Friday, a triumphant Imran Khan left for Lahore late in the night without addressing the charged party workers who had been earlier directed by him to be ready for a possible protest.
The PTI chairman was granted a blanket relief from different benches of IHC that not only barred the authorities from arresting him but also stayed his trial in the Toshakhana case until the second week of June.

Before leaving for his Lahore residence, Mr Khan, in a video message, appealed to the nation “to be ready for a massive protest” and lashed out at the “imported government for kidnapping” him despite the bail granted to him by the IHC in all cases.

Clad in a sky blue shalwar kameez and a dark blue waistcoat, he said: “They have kidnapped me and forcibly kept me here. I want to tell the whole nation that it is their bad intention, they want to do something again and the whole nation should ready itself to protest”.

After spending nearly 11 hours on the IHC premises, the ex-premier finally left the federal capital without addressing charged PTI workers who remained on the streets throughout the day.

However, gunshots were heard when he was still inside the court building.

In another video message, while on way to Lahore, Mr Khan said that Islamabad IGP Akbar Nasir had left no stone unturned to retain him at the IHC but his protest threat worked and he was able to leave the place.

Earlier, at one point in time, Mr Khan put his finger on his lips when journalists bombarded him with questions and on another occasion, he was seen waving a fist in front of TV cameras as a mark of victory.

Friday was the day of Mr Khan when four different IHC benches granted his over a dozen petitions by barring the authorities from arresting him in different cases.

Under the blanket relief, the authorities have been restrained from taking him into custody at least till May 15, while in some cases till the last week of this month.

In the Al Qadir Trust case, in which NAB arrested him on May 9, the IHC division bench, comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz, granted him pre-arrest interim bail for two weeks.

The Supreme Court had a day earlier declared Mr Khan’s arrest from the IHC premises illegal and referred the matter to the IHC.