Imran Khan: Former Pakistani PM greets supporters outside home after police arrest operation ends in chaos

Islamabad, Pakistan

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan greeted supporters exterior his Lahore residence Wednesday, after police had been ordered to droop an operation to arrest him amid a violent standoff across the compound.

Khan was pictured in a single video sporting a fuel masks as he spoke to and took photos with those that had gathered exterior his property.

Police in Lahore had been making an attempt to arrest Khan for not exhibiting as much as courtroom on corruption fees.

Officers had been ordered to droop the operation till 10 a.m. native time on Thursday, after clashes between police and supporters of the embattled opposition chief stretched right into a second day.

The intervention from the Lahore Excessive Court docket Wednesday was made because of safety issues round a high-profile cricket match happening within the metropolis, with the choose citing the necessity to “keep peace,” two Pakistani authorities officers acquainted with the matter informed CNN.

Police and paramilitary troops had arrived at Khan’s residence on Tuesday afternoon, the day after an arrest warrant was issued by the Islamabad Excessive Court docket to drive him to look on Saturday. Khan’s supporters then camped exterior his house, saying they might not let the arrest occur.

Imran Khan greets supporters outside his residence in Lahore on Wednesday.

Khan faces allegations of illegally promoting presents given to him by overseas dignitaries whereas he was in workplace, which he has rejected as “biased.”

The previous prime minister, who was ousted in a parliamentary no-confidence vote final April, has since led a well-liked marketing campaign in opposition to the present authorities, accusing it of colluding with the army to take away him from workplace.

The doorstep of Khan’s house within the jap metropolis was a battleground earlier Wednesday as riot police swarmed the broader Zaman Park neighborhood.

Khan’s supporters hurled stones and projectiles at police whereas folks inside his residence lit fires after officers fired tear fuel into the compound.

Police additionally used water cannons in an effort to disperse them, footage shared by Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) celebration and native media confirmed.

Supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan chant anti government slogans as they gather outside his residence, in Lahore on Wednesday.

Paramilitary troops take position as riot police officer fire tear gas to disperse the supporters of Imran Khan.

Police later reduce the electrical energy provide to Khan’s house and turned avenue lights off within the neighborhood, in keeping with Khan’s spokesperson and different backers.

Early on Wednesday morning, a Pakistani police official informed CNN {that a} whole of 69 folks had been injured within the violence in Lahore, together with 34 law enforcement officials. The official, talking on situation of anonymity, added that individuals inside Khan’s residence had been armed with weapons.

Amid the standoff, Khan on Wednesday signed a surety bond stating he would seem on the Islamabad Excessive Court docket on Saturday. Nonetheless, the handwritten be aware didn’t say whether or not he would seem in particular person or ship a consultant.

Protests had additionally damaged out in main cities throughout Pakistan on Tuesday in help of Khan, who launched a video on social media asking his followers to “come out” in help of his motion if he was detained.

Following the order to halt the operation, CNN’s stringer on the bottom in Lahore stated police had been clearing the world exterior Khan’s residence and retreating. Police confirmed to CNN they had been doing so on the orders of the Lahore Excessive Court docket.

PTI Senior Occasion Chief Asad Umar stated in a video message posted on Twitter that regardless of the order, police might nonetheless stay in close by areas, and instructed PTI members to remain close to Khan’s residence.

The cricket legend turned politician has accused Pakistani authorities of making an attempt to arrest him to take away him from upcoming by-elections in April and a basic election scheduled for October.

“[The government], they’re petrified that if I come into energy, I’ll maintain them accountable,” Khan informed CNN on Tuesday. “In addition they know that even when I’m going to jail, we are going to swing the elections it doesn’t matter what they do.”

The previous chief says the fees in opposition to him are politically motivated and has warned that makes an attempt to arrest him might result in a harmful escalation in political violence within the nation. He additionally believes that Pakistan’s ruling coalition would possibly ultimately use a “pretext of violence” to delay the upcoming votes.

In an announcement to CNN, Pakistan’s data minister denied any political involvement within the case.

“The federal government has nothing to do with the arrest (of Khan), and the arrest has nothing to do with elections. The police is simply complying with the orders of the courtroom,” Marriyum Aurangzeb stated.

“As an alternative of cooperating with regulation enforcement officers, Imran Khan is breaking the regulation, defying courtroom orders and utilizing his celebration staff as human shields to evade arrest and stoke unrest,” she added.

Police use water cannons to disperse supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan during clashes, in Lahore on Wednesday.

Imran Khan backers throw stones at riot police officers firing tear gas on Wednesday.

In an interview that aired Tuesday in the US, Pakistan’s Overseas Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari stated Khan confronted arrest “due to his ego.”

Chatting with Comedy Central’s “The Each day Present,” Zardari stated Khan had repeatedly refused to look in courtroom and battle his case, usually reasoning that he’s “too essential” to face trial.

“What we’ve seen over the previous couple of weeks have been an entire mockery of the judicial system in Pakistan, of rule of regulation, of the structure in Pakistan – the place had he gone to courtroom, there was most likely no cause he needed to face imminent arrest,” Zardari stated. “He’s violated courtroom orders time and time once more.”

Imran Khan, Pakistan's former prime minister, is pictured in Lahore on Jan. 24, 2023.

Khan’s legal professionals have argued he has beforehand failed to look in courtroom as a result of he can’t depart his residence in Lahore because of safety issues. He can solely make appearances by way of video hyperlink, in keeping with his authorized workforce.

The political upheaval comes at a time when Pakistan’s authorities waits for a delayed bailout from the Worldwide Financial Fund, which can assist with the nation’s value of dwelling disaster and ailing financial system.

Khan has solely been arrested as soon as in 2007 by then President and army ruler Pervez Musharraf, who died earlier this yr.

However he informed CNN Tuesday that he was “mentally ready to spend the night time in a cell.”

“I desire a correct warrant of arrest and I need to see that, my legal professionals need to see the warrant,” Khan stated.

“It’s a matter of time. I’m satisfied they’ll are available in and arrest me, I’m ready for it,” he stated, including: “I do know what the intention is. They need to get me out of the race. They need to get me out of the match in order that they will win the elections.”

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