Islamabad, March 15
Pakistan’s former Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan accused the federal government of planning his arrest saying this is all part of a “London plan” to finish all cases against the country’s former premier Nawaz Sharif.
In a video message, Imran said, “This is part of the London plan and an agreement has been signed there to put Imran in jail, make the PTI fall and finish all cases against Nawaz Sharif.” He further stated that he doesn’t understand the reason behind the attack on people as he had already assured that he will be present in court on March 18.
These comments came as the tension prevailed in Lahore in the early hours of Wednesday. More contingents were called to PTI chairman’s Zaman Park residence — where a stand-off between party supporters and law enforcers has been going on for more than 14 hours — for the former prime minister’s arrest.
Imran said to prevent any chaos, he had given an undertaking to the Lahore High Court Bar Association president who then attempted to forward it to the DIG who was coming to arrest the PTI chief but the latter did not meet the president.
“According to Code of Criminal Procedure Section 76, if this surety bond is given to the arresting officer, then I cannot be arrested,” Imran said.
The PTI chief said the DIG had no reason to not accept the undertaking and pointed to ill intentions.
The protests broke out in Islamabad, Peshawar, and Karachi after Imran called on his supporters to “come out” following police’s use of tear gas and a water cannon on supporters outside Zaman Park.
The Punjab police sought more water cannons on both sides of Canal Road and also fired tear gas shells at PTI workers, Samaa English reported.
In Peshawar, a large number of PTI supporters demonstrated outside the press club. After holding the demonstration, PTI workers blocked Sher shah Suri road and started marching towards the Governor House.
Islamabad police said PTI protesters had blocked Tarnol Road but timely action had been taken to reopen it for traffic. “A case has been registered in Tarnol Police Station against the PTI workers who blocked the road on the orders of Imran Khan,” a police officer said.
Chowrangi, Karachi, people staged a dharna by setting tires on fire against the atrocities being carried out by the police in Zaman Park.
Two non-bailable arrest warrants were issued for the PTI chairman on Monday after he failed to appear in courts in cases linked to the Toshakhana reference and threatened a woman additional district and sessions judge.
The 70-year-old ex-premier has been recovering from a gunshot injury from an assassination attempt in Wazirabad last year and has skipped hearings in several cases, the Dawn reported.
The PTI chief was supposed to appear before two district and session courts in Islamabad today but Imran’s lawyers filed petitions seeking an exemption from the hearings citing security reasons.
Imran has thrice skipped indictment hearings in the case. He is accused of concealing, in his assets declarations, details of the gifts he retained from the Toshakhana — a repository where presents handed to government officials from foreign officials are kept.
On March 7, the IHC suspended Imran’s non-bailable arrest warrants till March 13 and instructed him to appear before the sessions court.
At the outset of the proceedings on Tuesday, Imran’s counsel Khawaja Haris informed the court that his client would not be able to appear. “He is not refusing to appear, but due to security threats he cannot be present,” Imran’s lawyer said.