Islamabad police remain clueless about Imran Khan; PTI warns of protest
PTI activists gather after Islamabad police reach Zaman Park to 'arrest' Imran on the court's order
LAHORE (Dunya News) - The Islamabad police team remained clueless about the whereabouts of PTI Chairman Imran despite raids at Zaman Park on Sunday.
A good number of PTI activists remained gathered at Imran Khan's Zaman Park after an Islamabad police team reached the provincial capital to 'arrest' PTI Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan, Dunya News reported.
The 'charged' protesters warned of dire consequences in case their leader was arrested by the police.
Islamabad SP City Hussain Tahir, who was leading the police team, reached Zaman Park residence of Imran Khan while carrying non-bailable arrest warrants issued by Additional Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal in Toshakhana case.
The Lahore police was also approached for the arrest of the PTI chief who failed to appear before the court despite repeated summons by the court.
Police claimed all legal requirements had been fulfilled to arrest the PTI chief. An Islamabad sessions court had issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for the former prime minister last month over persistent absences.
Reacting to the reports of the arrest, PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry warned of a worsening situation in the country if the government moves against the former prime minister.
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
"Any attempt to arrest Imran Khan will seriously worsen the situation, I want to warn this incompetent and anti-Pakistan government not to push Pakistan into further crisis and act sensibly," said Fawad.
The former minister also called on the party workers to reach Zaman Park.
-- Islamabad Police team in Lahore for Imran's arrest --
An Islamabad police spokesperson said the police team has reached Lahore to arrest Imran Khan on the orders of a court and that Imran Khan will be brought to the federal capital.
He said a legal action would be taken against those who would be interfering in the process of court's orders.
عمران خان گرفتاری سے گریزاں ہیں۔ ایس پی صاحب کمرے میں گئے ہیں مگر وہاں عمران خان موجود نہیں۔ ٹیم عمران خان کی گرفتاری کےلیے پہنچی ہے۔— Islamabad Police (@ICT_Police) March 5, 2023
In a series of tweets today, the Islamabad Police said the operation was being conducted with the cooperation of the Lahore police.
It stated that the PTI chief was “avoiding” the arrest, adding that the superintendent of police (SP) had “gone into Imran’s room but he was not present there”.
The SP said the arrest warrants had been served at Zaman Park.
Inspector General of Islamabad Police, in a statement, said Imran Khan had been served notice and that police team would bring the PTI chief to Islamabad from Lahore. He advised the PTI workers not to interfere in the process of arrest.
-- Imran not present at Zaman Park --
Imran Khan's Chief of Staff Senator Shibli Faraz received the warrant of the PTI chief's arrest from the Islamabad police team who was aided by the Lahore police around 12:58pm.
Faraz informed the police that the former prime minister was not at Zaman Park but would comply with the law.
-- Police return empty-handed --
The police team 'temporarily' left Khan's residence without arrest after informing the high ups about absence of the PTI chief.
-- Imran Khan's reaction --
PTI Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan said Pakistan has “become a banana republic”.
“What future can a country have when crooks are thrust as rulers upon it? SS [Shehbaz Sharif] was about to be convicted by NAB (National Accountability Bureau) for Rs8 bn money laundering and by FIA (Federal Investigation Agency) for another Rs16 bn corruption when he was rescued by Gen Bajwa who kept getting NAB cases trial postponed,” he said in a tweet in connection with the issuance of arrest warrants and presence of Islamabad police at Zaman Park.
made PM. He has since proceeded to select heads of those institutions investigating his cases - first FIA & now NAB - simply to get his name permanently cleared in Rs 16 bn corruption & Rs 8 bn money laundering cases against him. This is how a country becomes a banana republic.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) March 5, 2023
“He has since proceeded to select heads of those institutions investigating his cases — first FIA and now NAB — simply to get his name permanently cleared in Rs16 bn corruption and Rs8 bn money laundering cases against him.
“This is how a country becomes a banana republic,” the PTI stalwart added.
-- Maryam asks Nawaz to lend some of his courage to Imran --
PML-N chief organiser Maryam Nawaz on Sunday asked her father and party supremo Nawaz Sharif to lend some of his courage to Imran Khan.
In a statement on Twitter, Maryam while mocking the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan stated that despite being innocent Nawaz Sharif would fly back to Pakistan from London, holding on to his daughter’s support, and would cooperate for his arrest, unlike a thief who would use the sons of others as a shield.
Addressing her father, Maryam said that Nawaz Sharif should lend some of his courage to Imran Khan.
-- PTI leaders reach Zaman Park --
PTI leaders Fawad Ch, Yasmin Rashid, Ijaz Ch, Hammad Azhar, Azam Swati and Omer Ayub Khan reached Imran Khan's Zaman Park residence.
The PTI leaders also spoke to media and urged the party workers to reach Zaman Park to prevent Imran Khan's arrest.
-- Fawad warns country-wide protests if ‘red line’ crossed --
PTI leader Fawad Ch told reporters outside Imran Khan's residence said that the Islamabad Police had arrived at the ex-premier’s residence to execute his arrest in the Toshakhana case.
“There are 74 cases against Imran. It is humanly not possible for any person to appear in court in all these cases,” he said, claiming that Imran’s arrest was aimed at postponing the upcoming general elections in Punjab.
Fawad called on party workers across the country to prepare for nationwide protest. “If they cross the red line, there will be a protest that Pakistan has never seen before,” the PTI leader added.
-- Sanaullah rules out arrest on govt orders --
Talking to media in Faisalabad, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said Imran Khan was being arrested on the court’s orders and not the government’s order.
“The police have only come to uphold the court’s order. If they had to arrest Imran at all costs, PTI burgers wouldn’t be an obstacle,” he claimed, adding that if the government had decided to arrest the PTI chief, “it would not have been a difficult feat”.
Sanaullah said Imran should be arrested as per court’s orders, punished and then disqualified.
-- Toshakhana Reference --
Imran Khan was set to be indicted in the Toshakhana Reference on Feb 28, but his lawyer had requested ADSJ Iqbal that he be exempted from the hearing because he had to appear in several other courts. His indictment was deferred twice before.
The judge had then issued arrest warrants for Imran and adjourned the hearing till March 7.
The reference, which alleges that Imran had not shared details of the gifts he retained from the Toshaskhana (during his time as the prime minister) and proceeds from their reported sales, was filed by lawmakers from the ruling coalition last year.
On October 21, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had concluded that the former premier had indeed made “false statements and incorrect declarations” regarding the gifts.