Islamabad Police officers traveled to the residence of the former Pakistani Prime Minister in Lahore in connection with the alleged illegal buying and selling of gifts received from foreign dignitaries during his premiership.
Agents have arrived at the residence of former Prime Minister Imran Khan in an attempt to arrest him in a case related to the buying and selling of gifts.
In a series of tweets on Sunday, police said Khan “avoided” arrest after officers arrived at his home in Lahore, adding that a police inspector “went to the room” but the 70-year-old was not there.
On Tuesday, a session court in Islamabad issued a non-bail warrant for the former prime minister for avoiding hearings related to the illegal buying and selling of gifts he received from foreign dignitaries during his premiership. Khan has denied the allegations.
Khan was removed from power last April after losing a parliamentary confidence vote and faces dozens of cases against him ranging from “terrorism” to corruption.
On Sunday, police officers who had traveled from the capital Islamabad were seen at the entrance of Khan’s Zaman Park residence in the eastern city of Lahore.
Khan’s supporters and members of his Pakistani party Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) gathered in the hundreds to protest the arrest of their party leader.
Inspector General of Islamabad Police Akbar Nasir Khan told the Geo News TV channel that the team went to Lahore to arrest Khan and not just to serve the warrant.
Nasir added that under the law, the first step of a non-excusable arrest warrant was to notify the suspect and make the arrest immediately.
Speaking at a public event on Sunday, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said the police came to issue the warrant and will then inform the court.
PTI party leader and former Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry spoke to journalists outside Khan’s house and confirmed that the police had come to carry out the order.
“Police say Imran Khan evades arrest. However, the insistence of the police to arrest Khan is illegal,” he said. “They want Imran Khan to go to court where security is lax and his life is in danger.”
PTI deputy chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi said talks with the party’s legal team will take place before a decision on any future actions is taken later on Sunday.
“We are a political party, we will respond politically. We will strategize. Imran Khan’s life is in danger. He has already had a seizure and we fear another seizure is planned. We have to protect him from it,” Qureshi told reporters.
“Imran Khan has bail. The government is trying to create a law-and-order situation.”
In November last year, the 70-year-old former national cricket captain was shot in the leg when his anti-government protest convoy was attacked in the city of Wazirabad.
One of Khan’s supporters died after receiving gunshot wounds, while more than a dozen people were injured.
Abid Hussain contributed to this report from Islamabad