A team of Islamabad Police reached the residence of ousted prime minister Imran Khan in Lahore to arrest him in the Toshakhana case. However, the police team returned after the cricketer-turned politician’s legal team assured that he will appear before the court on March 7.
According to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) vice chairman and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, there is no mention of “arrest” in the warrants as Imran Khan has been asked by an Islamabad sessions court to appear before it on March 7 in the case.
The 70-year-old has been recovering from a gunshot injury after an assassination attempt in Wazirabad in 2022. He has skipped indictment hearings in the case thrice.
The chief of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has faced scrutiny for buying presents, including a high-end Graff wristwatch he got on discount from the state’s depository known as Toshakhana while serving as Prime Minister and later sold them for personal gain.
Last week, a a non-bailable arrest warrant was issued against him by the court, which adjourned the hearing till March 7 for his repeated failure to appear before the it.
Meanwhile, police have closed the primary road that leads to Khan’s Zaman Park home in Lahore using containers. Riot police and water cannons are currently present near the vicinity of Khan’s residence. There is concern among Khan’s political party that police might conduct a search of his house at any moment, but they have stated that their supporters will prevent any such attempt.
The Punjab Inspector General of Police, Dr. Usman Anwar, stated in a press release that the Punjab police would cooperate with the Islamabad police in executing the court’s ruling concerning Khan’s case. However, he did not specify whether authorities would arrest Khan.
“Punjab police will help Islamabad police in implementing the court’s order,” he said.
“Today Imran Khan locked himself in a room in Zaman Park. Khan’s chief of staff Shibli Faraz said he wasn’t at home when the Islamabad police came to deliver a court’s notice. But Khan later appeared from his house addressing the party workers,” The Prime Minister’s special assistant on interior Attaullah Tarar said.
“Arrest of Imran Khan is our red line and we will not allow this,” PTI senior leader Shafqat Mahmood said.
Khan claimed “they” wanted to kill him while on the way to his court appearance. “They have made yet another plan to kill me during a court appearance,” he alleged.
“I will write to the chief justice of Pakistan telling him that 74 false cases have been registered against me. I have a threat to my life from those who are supposed to protect me,” he said.
“Take an example of criminals like (Prime Minister) Shehbaz Sharif and (Interior Minister) Rana Sanaullah who were involved in killing people and an attempt on his life (in Wazirabad in November last year) ” he said.