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.
Rangers firing straight into unarmed citizens at Zaman Park as if they are attacking an enemy force on the battlefield. pic.twitter.com/dK8mlLHA4Y
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) March 15, 2023
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.
عشق عمرانیہ 😍
kudos to every single one who was out there in love of Imran Khan, who were there for better tomorrow. You guys have my respect. your resilience would be written in golden words. pic.twitter.com/lwkZXTHJ3U
— Aqib Mughal (@aqibmughal89) March 15, 2023
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.
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.