LAHORE: After Islamabad police arrived at former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Lahore residence to arrest him in the Toshakhana case, a swarm of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers gathered at Zaman Park.
On February 28, an Islamabad court’s additional sessions judge Zafar Iqbal issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for the former prime minister for failing to appear in court in the Toshakhana case.
An Islamabad police official told the media at Zaman Park that they were in Lahore on the court’s order due to Khan’s persistent absence from court.
According to the official, they arrived at Zaman Park under the supervision of a superintendent of police (SP).
“The Lahore police are assisting us,” said an Islamabad police official who spoke to the media.
While speaking to the media, IG Islamabad stated that officers are on their way to Zaman Park to arrest the PTI leader.
“I appeal to the public not to obstruct the police in carrying out the court’s orders. It would be a crime to do so “The Islamabad police chief warned.
SP unable to locate Imran Khan
Meanwhile, the Islamabad police said in a tweet that Khan would be transferred to Islamabad under their protection.
“Those who attempt to obstruct the execution of court orders will face legal action,” they said.
According to the police, Khan is attempting to avoid arrest, and the SP went to the former premier’s room but was unable to locate him.
Furthermore, all roads leading to Zaman Park have been closed, and barriers have been placed in front of Khan’s home. According to reports, the people inside Khan’s house are not opening the doors.
PTI leaders and workers congregate at Zaman Park
As soon as the arrest was made public, PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry summoned workers to Zaman Park. Following that, a large number of party workers descended on PTI chief’s Lahore residence.
“Any attempt to arrest Imran Khan will seriously worsen the situation; I want to warn this inept and anti-Pakistan government not to push Pakistan into further crisis and to act sensibly,” Fawad said in a tweet.
Fawad and other senior PTI leaders later arrived at Khan Lahore residence, including Yasmin Rashid, Asad Umar, Ejaz Chaudhry, and Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
PTI has called for a protest
Fawad later told reporters that 74 cases have been filed against Khan, 30 of which are criminal in nature.
“A human cannot appear in court in such a large number of cases,” he continued.
PTI senior vice president slammed the government, saying it had destroyed the constitution and the economy.
“The government wishes to destabilize the country’s law and order situation. Riots erupted in order for the elections to be postponed. It is an attempt to obstruct the implementation of the Supreme Court’s election-related order “He stated.
Fawad also claimed that the government is forcing Khan to appear in court in order to kill him. “Both the federal and provincial governments are two sides of the same coin,” he added.
عمران خان کی گرفتاری کی کوئ بھی کوشش حالات کو شدید خراب کر دے گی، میں اس نا اھل اور پاکستان دشمن حکومت کو خبردار کرنا چاہ رہا پاکستان کو مزید بحران میں نہ دھکیلیں اور ہوش سے کام لیں، کارکنان زمان پارک پہنچ جائیں— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) March 5, 2023
PTI leader urged workers to begin planning a protest in the event Khan is arrested. “If anything happens, we will call for nationwide peaceful protests,” he added.
Meanwhile, Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi stated that they will consult with their lawyers about the notice sent to Imran Khan before announcing their next strategy.
According to Qureshi, the party’s leader has always respected the law and the courts, even appearing in court without security.
“Even doctors refused to allow Imran to appear, but he did. We will follow the legal process, but we must exercise caution “He stated this to journalists after Fawad.
The senior leader stated that the party’s next plan will be announced following a meeting with Khan. He claimed that PTI chairman’s life is in grave danger and that the party’s primary concern is that another attempt will be made.
“We’ve devised a strategy to keep Imran safe. Everyone noticed that Imran was speaking in a conciliatory tone yesterday and that he is forgiving everyone, including those who have attempted to kill him.”
Qureshi stated that Khan had stated his willingness to engage in political discussions and that those attempting to arrest the former premier are “attempting to derail the conciliatory process.”
‘Khan will be arrested the moment the government decides to do so’
While speaking to the media in Faisalabad, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah stated that the police had arrived at Zaman Park to carry out the court’s order. He stated that whatever happens at Zaman Park will be reported to the court.
“If the arrest had occurred, [PTI] workers would not have been able to prevent it,” Sanaullah said, adding that the former prime minister could have been arrested “three days” ago.
He stated that Khan’s allegations of a suicide attempt were fundamentally false.
“There was no such assassination attempt on Imran Khan. Imran Khan has been looking for ways to avoid appearing in court and facing punishment, “said the minister.