PTI workers camp outside Imran Khan's house to prevent arrest
Hundreds of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers arrived at former prime minister Imran Khan's Zaman Park residence on Thursday evening as police arrived to arrest him, according to reports. Supporters of the cricketer-turned-politician were seen waving flags and carrying banners, per multiple media reports. Many more were also seen heading toward his residence on foot and in vehicles while removing roadblocks.
Why does this story matter?
- After the Lahore High Court rejected the ex-Pakistan prime minister's protection bail plea in a case related to protests outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) office last October, a caravan of Pakistan Police vehicles arrived at Khan's Zaman Park residence on Thursday.
- As words of the police's plans to arrest him spread, PTI workers started arriving in numbers and camped outside Khan's house.
PTI workers protesting outside Khan's residence against government, police
According to Dawn, hundreds of PTI workers were already camping outside Khan's house in Lahore for the past few days, where the 70-year-old leader has been staying since he sustained injuries in an assassination attempt on him during a rally in Wazirabad last year. It added that the party workers continuously chanted slogans against the Pakistan government and the police all day.
PTI workers working in shifts to stay outside Khan's house
Azhar Mashwani, PTI's social media focal person, told Dawn that party workers are working in shifts to remain outside Khan's house in Zaman Park and would come in shifts from different parts of the nation. Furthermore, a long cue of prisoner transport vans and police vehicles could also be seen on the route leading to Khan's residence.
Government would need to arrest us first: PTI workers
Several PTI workers also said that they would not let anyone arrest the party chief, and the Shehbaz Sharif-led government would need to arrest all of them first before reaching Khan, the Dawn report said. Meanwhile, PTI leader Musarat Jamshaid Cheema claimed the entire country would take to the streets if the government attempted to detain the 70-year-old leader.
Visuals from outside Imran Khan's house
Know about the case against Imran Khan
Last year in October, the former Pakistan PM was booked after numerous protests erupted in the country in reaction to the Toshakhana verdict announced by the country's election commission. Pakistan's top election body had disqualified Khan from holding public office for five years in the Toshakhana case for hiding proceeds from the sale of gifts he received from foreign leaders.
Anti-Terrorism Court's recent verdict on Khan
Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Judge Raja Jawad Abbas on Wednesday said that Khan had been given enough time to appear before the court; however, he had failed to do so. Meanwhile, his lawyer Babar Awan urged the Islamabad court to grant a one-time exemption from appearing in person as the PTI chief had not fully healed from the gun attack from last year, reported ANI.
Lahore HC directed Khan to appear before court
Earlier, Khan was warned by Lahore HC about receiving a contempt notice on a plea seeking protective bail. The remarks from Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh came after taking note of the different signatures of the PTI chief on the affidavit and power of attorney. Advocate Azhar Siddiq, appearing for Khan, told the court that they were mulling over the cricketer-turned-politician's security and health issues.