Zaman Park is Filled With PTI Supporters Due to Push to Arrest Imran Khan

The "true purpose behind all these attempts," according to Imran, "is to kidnap and assassinate" him. There is a protests countrywide.

On Wednesday, the standoff between PTI loyalists and police in front of former prime minister Imran Khan’s Zaman Park mansion in Lahore went on for the second day in a row.

It is reported that early this morning, police and security forces attempted another effort to detain the former premier in relation to the Toshkhana issue. Television footage also showed PTI workers igniting motorcycles and other vehicles outside Zaman Park.

PTI workers battled the Islamabad police in intense skirmishes for more than 15 hours, assisted by their Punjab counterparts and eventually Rangers men. The fighting went on late into the night with no indications of stopping. Around 30 police officers have been hurt in the conflict so far, while at least 15 PTI members have been detained.

The PTI said that the police had resumed its use of tear gas near Imran’s home in the most recent video that it shared on its official Twitter account.

Separately, in a series of tweets, Imran added that after a day of battling tear gas, cannons with toxic water, rubber bullets and real bullets,  “we now have Rangers taking over and are now in direct confrontation with the people”.

The PTI head asserted in another tweet that the government’s true goal in putting together the entire incident was to “abduct and assassinate” him.

“It is obvious that the arrest claim was theatre as the true objective is to kidnap and assassinate. They have switched to live firing from tear gas and water guns.

Imran also spoke to his fans in the early hours of Wednesday and stated that other attempts to arrest him were underway, amid appeals from the party to assemble in Zaman Park once more.

Imran compared the day’s happenings to the circumstances in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir in a video message.

Imran claimed that in order to stop further mayhem, he had issued an undertaking to the head of the Lahore High Court Bar Association, who then tried to send it on to the DIG.

He added that the LHCBA president was not met by the Islamabad DIG.

“According to Section 76 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, if this surety bond is given to the arresting officer, then he can’t arrest [me],” Imran remarked.

The PTI head went on to say that the DIG had no justification for refusing the assignment and implied ulterior motives. Imran claimed that a deal had been reached in London to imprison him, bring down the PTI, and conclude all legal proceedings against Nawaz Sharif.

He did not, however, make an announcement before stopping.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC), on the other hand, will soon review PTI’s request for the revocation of the arrest search warrants for Imran in the Toshakhana case.

Following an altercation between police and PTI employees outside Zaman Park the previous day, the party filed the petition. Chief Judge Aamer Farooq of the IHC will hear it.

Fawad Chaudhry, the head of the PTI, confirmed the incident and stated that the party would abide by whatever ruling made by the high court.

It is important to note that the PTI chairman’s non-bailable arrest warrants were issued by an Islamabad district and sessions court on Monday as a result of his repeated absenteeism in the Toshakhana reference. Also, it had given police instructions to detain the former prime minister and bring him before a judge by March 18.

The Lahore High Court was contacted earlier today by Chaudhry and the PTI legal team in an effort to have Imran’s arrest warrants revoked. The LHC Chief Justice, however, sent them back, stating that the IHC should consider the case since it included Islamabad.

On Tuesday afternoon, when police officers approached Imran Khan’s home in an armoured personnel carrier, the operation to “execute arrest orders” issued by an Islamabad court got underway.

Police in Islamabad, under the direction of DIG Shahzad Nadeem Bukhari, used water cannons and tear gas to disperse opposition party supporters. But the PTI employees answered back with rocks.

The police squad was committed to seeing the operation through. After being hurt, DIG Bukhari stated emphatically, “We are here to arrest Imran Khan and it will be done today at all costs.”

Imran warned his followers to keep fighting for “true freedom” regardless of his “arrest or death” in a video message that was published yesterday. Imran was aware that his detention was certain.

Later, after midnight, in an interview with BBC Urdu, Mr Imran Khan discussed the attempts to have him arrested, for which he was prepared, and said it appeared that the claimed pledges made to Nawaz Sharif by the establishment were being kept.

The former premier claimed that he could not comprehend why the establishment and the army commander were “backing the PDM government” despite the fact that this was harming the institution’s standing in society.

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