• Monday, March 27, 2023

HEADLINE STORY

Pakistan: Imran Khan supporters celebrate as cops retreat from arresting ex PM; no relief from Islamabad high court

Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan addresses the nation in Lahore on Wednesday, March 15, 2023. (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

The upscale Zaman Park area of Lahore remained witness to intense drama throughout Wednesday (15) as law-keepers closed in on the residence of former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan to arrest him in a corruption case but their mission remained unsuccessful after the local high court halted police operation till 10 am on Thursday (16).

Supporters of Khan, the chief of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) cheered and celebrated as the personnel started retreating. They were seen cheering “chasing the Rangers away” as the police and other security officials were seen leaving.

Pakistan’s Geo News reported citing sources that the police will not advance on Khan’s Zaman Park residence until the conclusion of the ongoing Pakistan Super League cricket tournament involving foreign players.

Khan was also seen coming out of his residence during the day, donning a gas mask. He met the party workers and later, the PTI said in a tweet that more supporters were reaching Zaman Park and vowed not to allow “impure intentions” of the country’s coalition government to succeed.

Earlier in the day, authorities deployed the Rangers personnel, a day after clashes between Khan’s supporters and law-keepers left more than 60 people injured, including 54 police personnel.

The injured were shifted to Lahore’s hospitals and police arrested dozens of Khan’s supporters.

The upscale area where Khan lives remained under siege on Wednesday as the government sent Rangers to aid police teams to muscle their way through a ring of enraged PTI supporters to arrest Khan.

The police, with their riot gear on, closed in on Khan’s home in order to comply with the court orders to arrest him in the Toshakhana case. Khan has been in the crosshairs for buying gifts, including an expensive Graff wristwatch he had received as the premier at a discounted price from the state depository called Toshakhana and selling them for profit.

Islamabad high court disposes of petition seeking cancellation of Khan arrest warrant

Meanwhile, the Islamabad high court disposed of a petition seeking cancellation of arrest warrants issued against Khan, The Dawn newspaper reported.

The PTI had filed the petition following the clashes between its workers and the police. The petition was taken up by the high court’s chief justice Aamer Farooq.

The court gave the verdict after reserving it earlier in the day and asked Khan to submit the undertaking, wherein he said he would appear in court on Saturday (18), to the trail court. It said the trail court should decide on the ousted prime minister’s undertaking in accordance with the law and upheld its order in the case.

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