Islamabad police arrive at ex-Pak PM Imran Khan’s Lahore house to arrest him in Toshakhana case
The Islamabad Police on Sunday arrived at Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan’s Zaman Park residence in Lahore to arrest him after he failed to appear in the court in the Toshakhana (gift depository) case. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party has threatened mass protests if Khan is arrested.
A team of Islamabad Police reached Lahore after receiving relevant orders from the high court.
According to Geo News, Khan was not present at his house when the police arrived. Reports say that the former premier will be taken to Islamabad in custody.
The police were acting on a non-bailable arrest warrant issued on February 28 by additional sessions judge Zafar Iqbal against the former PM.
Talking to the media outside Khan’s Zaman Park residence, an Islamabad police officer that they were given a go-ahead by the superintendent of police (SP).
"We are being assisted by the Lahore police," said the Islamabad police officer, reports Geo News.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party senior vice president Fawad Chaudhry warned of a worsening situation in the country if the government moves against the former prime minister.
"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," Fawad tweeted.
There was huge drama outside Khan's residence as party leaders and workers gathered outside in huge numbers and raised slogans in their leader's support and criticising the Shehbaz Sharif government. The PTI party workers surrounded the residence to prevent the arrest.
Reacting to his arrest, Khan levelled massive allegations against Prime Minister Shehbaz Shariff and former army chief General Qamar Bajwa.
"What future can a country have when crooks are thrust as rulers upon it? SS was about to be convicted by NAB for ₹8 bn money laundering & by FIA for another ₹16 bn corruption when he was rescued by Gen Bajwa who kept getting NAB cases trial postponed."
"While under trial he was 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 ₹16 bn corruption & ₹8 bn money laundering cases against him. This is how a country becomes a banana republic," Khan said.
Imran Khan has skipped hearings in the Toshakhana case thrice till now in which he was to be indicted for allegedly concealing details of the gifts he retained from the repository where presents given to government officials are deposited, said a Dawn report.
Meanwhile, in a series of tweets, the Islamabad Police said that 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 had “gone into Imran’s room but he was not present there”.