Several wounded in clashes as Pakistani police attempt to arrest ex-PM Khan

Supporters of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan chant slogans as they protest, ahead of Khan's possible arrest in Lahore, in Karachi, Pakistan, on March 14, 2023. (Photo: Reuters)

The Pakistani police and supporters of Imran Khan battled heated skirmishes outside the former prime minister's home in Lahore on Tuesday (March 14), injuring numerous on both sides before Khan's expected arrest, according to a government spokesman and witnesses.

According to video photos published by Khan's party, police used baton charges against Khan supporters and threw tear gas canisters, some of which landed on Khan's front lawn.

Local Geo TV depicted a helicopter hovering over the residence and reported that the area's internet connection had been severed.

"Imran Khan will be arrested and presented in court today," declared Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah at a public gathering broadcast live on local television channels.

According to Fawad Chaudhry, Khan's assistant, a lower trial court issued an arrest warrant for Khan in the capital Islamabad for illegally selling official goods while in power from 2018 to 2022.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi, an advisor to Khan, informed reporters that the former prime minister had obtained "protective bail" from a court.

According to our understanding, the police cannot arrest Imran Khan, he stated.

Since early last year, when he was ousted from office by a parliamentary vote, Khan has demanded emergency elections in protest rallies around the nation. His successor, Shehbaz Sharif, rebuffed this demand and stated that the election would occur as planned later this year.

Khan was shot and injured during one of these demonstrations.

Members of Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf initiated the assault (PTI), government spokesperson Amir Mir told Reuters.

If Imran Khan guarantees his presence in court, it will be a positive development; otherwise, the law will take its course.

Khan urged his people to defend the authority of the law.

"The police have arrived to arrest me and take me to jail," he claimed in a video message broadcast to Twitter. "You must demonstrate that this nation will continue to strive even without Imran Khan if something happens to me, if I'm imprisoned, or if they kill me."

Mir stated that the administration has called in paramilitary soldiers to help maintain order. Similar conflicts occurred last week.

"We are here solely to comply with the court order," Syed Shahzad Nadeem, deputy inspector general of police, told reporters.

While receiving stones and bricks from Khan's supporters, police responded with a water cannon and, in some instances, baton charges, he explained.

Khan fans were also captured on live television cameras using slingshots and hitting the cops with bricks and sticks.

Since his departure, Khan has been entangled in various judicial proceedings.

A tiny number of his fans blocked highways in other cities to protest Khan's impending arrest.

Publish : 2023-03-15 10:05:00

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