We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

A riot police officer fires tear gas to disperse supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan during clashes, in Lahore, Pakistan today. Alamy Stock Photo

Clashes continue for second day in Pakistan as police try to arrest former PM Imran Khan

Officers had been trying to arrest the former prime minister for failing to appear in court on corruption charges.

CLASHES BETWEEN PAKISTAN’S police and supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan have continued into a second day outside his home in the eastern city of Lahore.

The unrest began after officers went to arrest him for failing to appear in court on corruption charges.

There have also been clashes between Khan’s supporters and police in other major cities, including Karachi, Islamabad, the garrison city of Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Quetta and elsewhere in Pakistan.

Police have been firing tear gas since yesterday at the house as the 70-year-old opposition leader’s supporters hurled rocks and bricks at the officers.

The upscale area of Zaman Park where Khan lives remains under siege, with the government sending additional police to tackle the situation after hundreds of Khan’s supporters showed unexpected perseverance.

Early today, Khan emerged from his house to meet with his supporters, who had faced tear gas and police batons through the night to save him from arrest.

He said he was ready to travel to Islamabad on 18 March under his arrest warrant, but police did not accept the offer.

The confrontation outside continued and later, Khan posed for cameras seated at a long table, showing off piles of spent tear gas shells he said had been collected from around his home.

He tweeted: “What crime did I commit that my house has been attacked like this”?

Fawad Chaudhry, a senior party leader from Khan’s party claimed today that hundreds of Khan’s supporters had been injured so far.

At the Islamabad High Court, Khan’s lawyer Khawaja Haris and his team petitioned for the suspension of the arrest warrant for the former premier.

The court was expected to issue a ruling about the suspension later today.

Yesterday, about a dozen police and some 35 of Khan’s supporters were reported injured as tear gas shells and pieces of bricks littered the pavement as the followers fought back with batons they had brought to resist police.

The Punjab provincial government said more than 100 police officers were injured in clashes with Khan’s supporters. They denied the former premier’s allegation that officers were using live ammunition.

Khan, who was ousted in a no-confidence vote in Parliament in April, was ordered to appear before a judge in Islamabad on Friday to answer charges of illegally selling state gifts he had received during his term as premier and concealing his assets.

The former prime minister has avoided appearances before the court since November, when he was wounded in a gun attack at a protest rally in eastern Punjab province, claiming he was not medically fit to travel from Lahore to Islamabad to face indictment.

Last week, he went to Islamabad to appear before three courts, but he failed to appear before the fourth court to face indictment in the graft case, which is a legal process for starting his trial.

Khan has claimed that the string of cases against him, which includes terrorism charges, are a plot by the government of his successor, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, to discredit the former cricket star turned Islamist politician.

From his home, Khan urged his followers yesterday to fight on even if he is arrested. “They think this nation will fall asleep when Imran Khan is jailed,” he wrote on Twitter. “You need to prove them wrong.”

Today, he tweeted that there was a plot “to abduct & assassinate” him.

Press Association
Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel