Imran Khan, ex-Pakistan PM, claims police surrounded house: ‘Probably my last tweet’
Imran Khan claimed that the police have surrounded his house for another arrest.
Pakistan's former chief minister Imran Khan on Wednesday claimed that the police have surrounded his house in Lahore for another arrest. In a tweet, he claimed, “Probably my last tweet before my next arrest.”
Dawn reported that the Punjab Police has reached outside PTI chairman's Zaman Park residence to arrest him. It added that Khan's residence has been cordoned off by the police officials.
“I am afraid today that Pakistan is on the route to destruction,” Khan, meanwhile, said in a video address. “And I fear that if wisdom is not exercised today, we might reach a stage where we wouldn’t even be able to pick up the pieces,” he added.
Meanwhile, the cricketer-turned-politician's party PTI urged its supporters to reach Zaman Park.
“Everyone, please reach Zaman Park! Do not let the PDM regime take our leader, the operation is just malice, and they are targeting Imran Khan!” it tweeted.
The development comes hours after Amir Mir, a spokesman for the Punjab provincial government, said Khan has 24 hours to hand over 40 suspects allegedly hiding at his home or face a police raid. He told a news conference that so far 3,400 suspects have been arrested and more raids were underway.
Pakistani authorities on Wednesday pressed on with efforts to try civilians involved in recent anti-government protests before military courts despite appeals from a leading international rights group and a local watchdog.
The Amnesty International and Human Rights Commission of Pakistan issued separate statements late on Tuesday, saying they were alarmed by the government's plan to bring supporters of the former prime minister who clashed with police and rioted across the country to trial under military rules.
Military trials in Pakistan are usually held behind closed doors, depriving civilians of some of their basic rights, including contracting a lawyer of their choice.
A wave of violence engulfed Pakistan's capital and other urban areas following the dramatic arrest of Khan — now opposition leader — from a courtroom in Islamabad on Tuesday last week.
Violence after Iman Khan's arrest
Supporters of Khan, fueled by anger, set fire to buildings and vehicles, and launched attacks on police, military personnel, and facilities. The violent clashes resulted in the death of 10 people, with authorities apprehending 4,000 people. However, the Supreme Court later criticised the manner in which Khan was arrested and ordered his release.
In recent developments, the top court in Islamabad has granted Khan an extension on his bail and protection against arrest until the end of the month.
The government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who took over from Khan following a parliamentary no-confidence vote last year, accused the former prime minister of harbouring suspects associated with the military installations attacks at his residence in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province.
Khan took to Twitter and alleged that his detained supporters, including both men and women, were being subjected to torture while in police custody. He demanded the immediate release of female protesters, although he provided no evidence to support his claims.
(With inputs from agencies)