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The police action comes a day after the Islamabad court issued arrest warrants against Imran Khan in alleged corruption and “terrorism” cases.
Islamabad, Pakistan – Clashes broke out between Pakistani police and supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan ahead of his possible arrest in the eastern city of Lahore.
On Tuesday, police fired tear gas and water cannon as hundreds of members and supporters of Khan’s Pakistan Liberation Party for Insaf gathered outside his residence in Zaman Park in Lahore.
Television footage showed police approaching Khan’s house with an armored vehicle. Khan’s supporters were seen throwing stones at the police.
Syed Shehzad Nadeem Bukhari, a senior Islamabad police officer, told reporters that they intended to arrest Khan.
He said, “We are here to implement the warrant and arrest Imran Khan.”
Minutes later, Khan posted a video message on Twitter, saying his supporters should fight for their rights, “for true freedom,” if he is arrested.
“The police are here to send me to jail. They think if Imran Khan goes to jail, this nation will sleep. You have to prove them wrong,” he said in the video.
“[If] Something happens to me, if they send me to jail, or if I kill you, you have to show that you can fight without me too.”
My message to the nation is to stand firm and fight for the right of Azadi and the rule of law. pic.twitter.com/bgVuOjsmHG
Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) March 14, 2023
Police said earlier that they were heading to Khan’s house to hand him two arrest warrants in alleged corruption and “terrorism” cases issued by a court in the capital, Islamabad, on Monday.
One of the notes concerns Khan, 70, who allegedly threatened a female judge during one of his speeches last year. The other accusations follow accusations that Khan sold government gifts and concealed assets while in office as prime minister.
Since losing a vote of confidence in Parliament in April last year, Khan has demanded a general election in rallies across the country. He also described the cases against him as politically motivated.
His successor, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, rejected Khan’s demand for snap elections, which are scheduled for later this year.
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