Supporters of former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan have barricaded his home in Lahore in a bid to protect him from arrest over allegations of selling state gifts given to him while he was in office. The situation followed pitched battles earlier in the week between the former international cricketer’s supporters and security forces. Khan denies the charges. Although there was no police presence outside the house on Friday, Khan’s supporters armed themselves with batons and iron rods to protect him as they awaited further developments in the case. Khan’s party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, filed a plea with the Islamabad high court to suspend the arrest warrant after a lower court had rejected a similar plea. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has rejected Khan’s demands for a snap election and has said a poll will be held as scheduled later this year. The situation in Lahore has increased fears of a new political stand-off in the country, which has already grappled with a serious economic crisis.
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