ISLAMABAD – A Pakistani government spokesman says police have released nearly 2,000 opposition party supporters of cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan who were detained ahead of planned anti-government protests.
Rana Arshad says most of Khan's supporters were set free from Punjab province jails on orders from Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
Khan's party had threatened to lock down the capital on Wednesday to force Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign over a money scandal.
The lockdown has been called off and Khan changed the gathering to a public celebration over a top court's ruling that asks the premier to submit a written response to allegations that members of his family were holding offshore bank accounts.
The arrests followed several days of clashes in which police used tear gas and batons against stone-throwing Khan's party protesters.