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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Pakistan’s Ex-PM Imran Khan urges supporters to “come out” amid clash with police outside his residence

PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday called on his supporters to “come out” as party workers and police officials clashed outside his Zaman Park residence in Lahore.

In a video message on Twitter, Imran said the police had come to arrest him. “They think that when I am arrested, the nation will fall asleep. You have to prove them wrong.”

The PTI chairman said that everyone should come out of their homes for their rights and “haqeeqi azaadi” (true freedom).

Key developments:

  • Imran urges supporters to ‘come out’
  • Islamabad police deployed water cannon and tear gas as PTI supporters threw stones; DIG Islamabad injured
  • Shah Mahmood Qureshi says Imran is not present at Zaman Park after he said he was and calls on the police to show him the arrest warrant so he can discuss it with the PTI chief
  • Fawad Chaudhry says the arrest warrants have been challenged in the IHC
  • Maryam Nawaz says Imran will be held responsible if any police officer or personnel is injured
  • “If something happens to me and I am sent to jail or killed, you must prove that you will fight without Imran Khan and will not accept the slavery of these thieves and the only person who decides for the country. ” he said.

PTI’s Fawad Chaudhry also asked PTI supporters to gather in the streets for a peaceful protest to show solidarity with Imran.

Shortly after 2:00 p.m., armored police vehicles arrived outside Zaman Park with the intention of arresting Imran, but a senior Islamabad police official, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) (Operations) Shahzad Bukhari, refrained from commenting on the case, in which officials acted against. Chairman PTI.

However, almost an hour later, the police used water cannon and tear gas against PTI supporters who gathered in large numbers outside Zaman Park.

Footage broadcast on television showed police slowly approaching the residence behind an armored vehicle that dispersed PTI supporters with a water cannon. Supporters were also seen throwing stones at police officers.


Footage also showed PTI supporters being teargassed when police arrived near the main gate of Zaman Park. The workers, who covered their faces with pieces of cloth and carried water bottles, continued to throw stones at the officials.

PTI also shared a video of what appeared to be tear gas shells being lobbed at Zaman Park.

Amid the chaos, Islamabad DIG (Operations) Bukhari — who heads the police team — was revealed to have been injured. Footage broadcast on television showed the senior police official struggling to walk while being helped by two other officials.

On Monday, the Islamabad District and Sessions Court reissued arrest warrants against Imran after he persistently skipped hearings in the Toshakhan case. The court also ordered the police to produce the ex-prime minister before the court by March 18.


Qureshi tells the police to come and talk to him
PTI’s Shah Mahmood Qureshi, talking to the media outside Zaman Park after the police used force, said he had come to talk to the Islamabad DIG (Operations).

“He says he has come with an arrest warrant [but] I request him not to spoil the situation,” he said, adding that the PTI wants to remain peaceful and does not want bloodshed.

“Meet me and talk to me. what are your orders Deliver them to me, show me the warrant, I’ll read it and understand it and talk to my chairman and consult with our lawyers.”

He said the police crackdown on PTI workers was “unwarranted” and called for an immediate halt.


Qureshi said that Imran had been granted protective bail and asked how the police could want to arrest him.

The PTI leader said that Imran was not present inside, contrary to his statement to the media a minute earlier in which he said that the former prime minister was actually in Zaman Park. Imran’s sister Aleema Khanum also told the media that Imran was present at his residence.

“Imran Khan is not present inside. I’m standing on the street Come and meet me,” Qureshi said, adding that he was the “authorized” person.

Meanwhile, PTI’s Fawad Chaudhry said that the arrest warrants against Imran have been challenged in the Islamabad High Court (IHC). He said negotiations are expected to take place soon. “Shibli Faraz and Barrister Gohar reach IHC.


The police are supposed to serve the process of law”
Islamabad Deputy Inspector General (DIG) (Operations) Shahzad Bukhari, who was wearing riot gear, told reporters in a media interview that officials had arrived to take the PTI chief into custody. there were outstanding warrants for his arrest.

However, the police official refused to divulge the details of the case in which the Islamabad police cracked down on Imran. “Of course we know about the case, but why should we discuss [such] details?”

Asked where Imran will be taken when he is arrested, Bukhari said: “First let it happen, then God willing, we will inform you.

He claimed that the police had come to “serve the process of law”, adding that he expected others to cooperate with the officials in this regard.


He said he expected people not to take the law into their hands and also announced this to the public gathered outside Imran’s residence.

Asked if the police would intervene if the situation descended into chaos, he said: “Yes, of course, if someone takes the law into their own hands, we will act according to the law.”

Bukhari was also asked if the capital police had camped in Lahore last week, to which he replied that it was their own “procedural detail”.

PTI jumps to Imran’s defence
Meanwhile, PTI’s Farrukh Habib shared footage of officials outside Zaman Park. He said that Imran’s life was in danger but situations were being created behind the scenes so that another attempt could be made on the ex-prime minister’s life.


“Being put on trial in F-8 is nothing less than a death trap,” he said.

In an apparent reference to the coalition government, PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry said the entire group had looted Toshakhan but the police were only seeking Imran’s arrest.

PML-N Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz Sharif said that Imran will be held responsible if any police officer or personnel is injured.

“Sons of the nation are not useless,” she tweeted. “He’s doing his duty.”


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