Pakistan police have raided the Lahore home of former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan who is on his way to the capital, Islamabad, for a court appearance.
Khan was summoned by the court in relation to a state gift case in which he is set to be indicted on Saturday. Soon after his departure from Lahore, police in the capital of the Punjab province carried out the raid at his residence.
Khan, chief of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, condemned the raid and said it was carried out while his wife Bushra Begum was alone at home.
“Punjab police have led an assault on my house in Zaman Park where Bushra Begum is alone. Under what law are they doing this? This is part of London Plan where commitments were made to bring absconder Nawaz Sharif to power as quid pro quo for agreeing to one appointment,” Khan tweeted.
Khan’s appearance in an Islamabad court was ensured after a dramatic few days earlier this week when police launched a two-day operation at his residence to arrest him due to non-appearance.
Footage from Lahore showed police breaking the gate of Khan’s residence on Saturday after they faced resistance by PTI supporters. A tweet shared by his party showed police using batons to target the supporters.
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Khan’s arrest warrant, issued by a lower court in Islamabad, was related to his non-appearance in the court to answer a case brought by the Election Commission of Pakistan.
The electoral watchdog had accused him of not declaring gifts received during his time as prime minister from 2018 to 2022, or the profits made from selling them.
Khan denies the charges, saying they are politically motivated.
On Friday the Islamabad High Court suspended the arrest warrant, instructing Khan to ensure his presence.
The former PM expressed his concerns that the authorities are planning to arrest him, a move that, he says, is planned to prevent him from contesting elections later this year.
In a tweet on Saturday while travelling to Islamabad, the PTI chief said the government intended to arrest him.
“Despite knowing their malafide intentions, I am proceeding to Islamabad & the court because I believe in rule of law. But ill intent of this cabal of crooks shd be clear to all. It is also obvious now that the entire siege of Lahore was not about ensuring I appear before the court in a case but was intended to take me away to prison so that I am unable to lead our election campaign,” he said in his tweets.
Earlier on Saturday, Khan said he has formed a committee to lead his party if he is arrested.
“I have made a committee which will obviously take decisions once – if – I’m inside” jail, the 70-year-old said in an interview at his Lahore home before heading to Islamabad. He said there were 94 cases against him.
The legal proceedings against Khan began soon after he was removed from office in a parliamentary vote last year. Since then, he has been demanding a snap election and holding nationwide protest rallies, including one in which he was shot and wounded.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA