PTI threatens mass protests as police try to arrest Imran from Zaman Park residence – Pakistan
Islamabad Police together with their Punjab Police counterparts on Sunday reached PTI chairman Imran Khan’s Zaman Park residence in Lahore to take him into custody for his persistent absences from Toshakhana courtroom hearings.
The 70-year-old former prime minister, who has been recovering from a gunshot harm from an assassination attempt in Wazirabad final 12 months, has thrice skipped indictment hearings in an Islamabad classes courtroom within the case.
What we all know to date
- Islamabad Police have arrived at Imran’s Zaman Park residence in Lahore to arrest him
- They had been met by a considerable amount of PTI staff, who massed exterior his residence on Fawad Chaudhry’s name
- Non-bailable arrest warrants had been issued by a classes courtroom choose for Imran’s persistent no-shows in Toshakhana case hearings
- Police say those that impede arrest will likely be prosecuted
- PTI is threatening mass protests if arrest goes by means of
- Rana Sanaullah says Imran’s arrest was on courtroom orders, and never the federal government’s
Imran is accused of allegedly concealing, in his property declarations, particulars of the presents he retained from the Toshakhana — a repository the place presents handed to authorities officers from overseas officers are saved. Officers are legally allowed to retain presents supplied they pay a pre-assessed quantity, usually a fraction of the worth of the present.
In a sequence of tweets in the present day, the Islamabad Police stated an operation to arrest Imran was being performed with the cooperation of the Lahore police.
It acknowledged that the PTI chief was “avoiding” the arrest, including that the superintendent of police had “gone into Imran’s room however he was not current there”.
“Islamabad Police will switch Imran Khan to Islamabad below their safety. Regulation is equal for all,” it stated including that authorized motion can be taken in opposition to these obstructing the execution of courtroom orders.
Individually, Islamabad Inspector Common of Police (IGP) Akbar Nasir stated that the police had delivered the courtroom’s discover to Imran and confirmed that it needed to be obtained.
“Now, we’re requesting him [Imran] to come back with us,” he stated in an interview with DawnNewsTV. “With numerous respect, we’ve got requested Imran Khan to come back with us in order that the courtroom’s orders will be obeyed and Imran will be introduced in courtroom.”
He stated that each Islamabad and Lahore’s police groups had been current exterior the ex-premier’s home.
“Police’s work is to implement courtroom orders and preserve the regulation and order scenario intact. We’ll attempt our greatest that he [Imran] comes with us,” IGP Nasir added.
Footage on tv present police officers in Islamabad Police uniform in addition to Punjab Police being held again by PTI staff exterior the Zaman Park residence.
Somewhat later, Punjab police reinforcements may be seen arriving exterior Imran’s home.
Further District and Periods Decide Zafar Iqbal on Feb 28, issued non-bailable arrest warrants for the PTI chief when he failed to seem in particular person for the indictment. Imran had 4 in-person courtroom hearings that day, and managed to safe bail in three of the 4 instances.
The warrant, a replica of which is accessible with Daybreak.com, acknowledged that Imran had repetitively failed to seem earlier than the courtroom. “The accused is making a choose and select for courts and instances and this case just isn’t included in his precedence.”
“The accused be summoned by means of a non-bailable warrant of arrest for March 7,” it added.
‘A banana republic’
While the police was outside his residence, Imran tweeted about how a country “becomes 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.
The PTI chief went on to say that while Shehbaz was under trial, he was made the prime minister.
“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,” he added.
Fawad warns of country-wide protests if ‘red line’ crossed
In a press conference outside Imran’s residence, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry 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 stated that Imran had always respected the judiciary and appeared before courts whenever he was called. “But they want Imran Khan to go to court so that terrorists can target him again.”
He then called on party workers across the country to prepare. “If they cross the red line, there will be a protest that Pakistan has never seen before,” Fawad added.
On the other hand, PTI vice-chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi asked supporters not to panic.
“The notice [presented by the police] does not have any arrest orders. Imran Khan and our legal team will hold a meeting at 2:30pm and then announce our plan of action,” he stated.
The party, Qureshi went on to say, will follow the legal process in this regard.
“We are a political party and we will have a political approach to this situation as well. You need to not worry but stay cautioned. We will meet Imran Khan right now,” he added.
In response to a question, Qureshi said that the only concern the party had was related to Imran’s security.
Arrest on court orders, not govt orders: Sanaullah
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has said that Imran 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”.
The minister further stated that Imran should be arrested as per court’s orders, punished and then disqualified.
Earlier in a tweet, PML-N leader Attaullah Tarar said that the PTI chief was “panicking after seeing his [possible] arrest and the nature of the cases against him”.
“There is only one way to change the conditions — dragging him by the ear and putting him in jail,” he added.
Imran 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.
The Toshakhana is a department under the Cabinet Division that stores gifts given to rulers and government officials by heads of other governments and foreign dignitaries. According to Toshakhana rules, gifts/presents and other such materials received by persons to whom these rules apply shall be reported to the Cabinet Division.
The watchdog’s order had said Imran stood disqualified below Article 63(1)(p) of the Structure.
Subsequently, the ECP had approached the Islamabad classes courtroom with a replica of the reference, searching for proceedings in opposition to Imran below legal regulation for allegedly deceptive officers in regards to the presents he obtained from overseas dignitaries throughout his tenure because the prime minister.
Extra to comply with