Massive protests at Imran Khan's residence as fears of arrest in Toshakhana case loom large
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has appealed to all party workers to gather at Imran Khan's residence, police says team had gone to the former PM's residence to sign notice, not make arrest
Amid massive protests against police action in Pakistan, the Islamabad Police and their Punjab Police colleagues arrived at former prime minister Imran Khan's Lahore apartment in Zaman Park on Sunday to arrest him for his repeated absences from Toshakhana court hearings.
The police however returned without making an arrest of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman despite the issuance of an arrest warrant against him in the Toshakhana case, local media reported. Later SSP Islamabad Police said that they had gone to Khan's residence to sign the notice, not to make an arrest, Samaa TV reported.
However, his party the PTI appealed to all party workers to immediately arrive at Imran Khan's residence to stop his probable arrest.
"The Islamabad Police have once more attempted to apprehend Imran Khan. The Islamabad police wish to apprehend Imran Khan in relation to another fabricated case. There are 74 examples in total. There are 28 criminal cases, including terrorism-related crimes. All anti-fascist government protests have been labelled terrorism. This is an insult to justice. Hundreds of people have begun to converge near the residence of Imran Khan. To postpone the elections, the government intends to create a law and order scenario "Fawad Chaudhry, senior vice president of the PTI, told Indiatoday.com.
Chaudhry added that he wanted to caution this inept and anti-Pakistan government not to lead Pakistan into a worse crisis and to behave rationally.
Imran Khan was charged with illegally selling items he acquired as prime minister from the Toshakhana state storehouse. Last Monday, he was supposed to appear for a hearing in the matter, but he did not. His attorneys stated that they will move the court to cancel the warrant because he was late to the hearing after visiting three courts during the day.
The arrest warrant requires Imran Khan to appear in court on March 7 when he is brought into prison. Geo News said that the Inspector General of Islamabad issued an order for Imran Khan's arrest today.
In a series of tweets today, the Islamabad Police said an operation to arrest Imran 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”.
"With their protection, Islamabad Police will transport Imran Khan to Islamabad. It also stated that legal action will be taken against anyone who obstructed the execution of court orders.
Separately, Islamabad Inspector General of Police (IGP) Akbar Nasir stated that the police had served Imran with the court's notice and confirmed that he was required to accept it.
In an interview with DawnNewsTV, he said, "Today, we are requesting [Imran] to accompany us." We have respectfully requested that Imran Khan accompany us to court so that the court's orders can be followed and Imran can be presented.
He stated that police teams from both Islamabad and Lahore were present outside of the ex-prime minister's home and would not leave without arresting him. "The job of the police is to enforce court orders and maintain law and order. We will make every effort to have him [Imran] join us," stressed IGP Nasir.