LHC directs police to stop operation at Zaman Park


LAHORE: Police and other law enforcers pulled back from former premier Imran Khan’s Zaman Park residence on Wednesday, putting a halt to clashes that had erupted after police tried to arrest the PTI chairman in the Toshakhana case.

More contingents in the wee hours of Wednesday reached PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s Zaman Park residence — where a stand-off between party supporters and law enforcers has been going on for more than 20 hours — for the former prime minister’s arrest in the Toshakhana case.

A tense situation prevailed in Lahore on Wednesday morning as police made a fresh attempt to arrest former prime minister Imran Khan. Many PTI supporters have been taken into custody from around Zaman Park during Wednesday clashes.

Subsequently, celebrations erupted at Zaman Park, where PTI supporters cheered “chasing the Rangers away”.Earlier, the official PTI Twitter handle stated that open firing had begun by the Rangers and police with Imran’s residence under “extreme attack”. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers and supporters on Tuesday night took control of Zaman Park Lahore following an hours-long face-off with police, who arrived to arrest former prime minister Imran Khan.

IHC reserves verdict on Imran’s arrest warrants
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday reserved its verdict on Imran Khan’s petition seeking the cancellation of his arrest warrants in the Toshakhana case.

The party had filed the petition after police and PTI workers had come face to face outside Zaman Park a day earlier. IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq took up the petition filed by the PTI legal team.

At the outset of hearing, the IHC judge asked Imran’s counsel, Khawaja Haris Ahmed, if he had addressed all the objections previously raised on the petition.

Haris said that the court had directed the PTI chief to appear before the court on March 13 however he was unable to do so.

“What happened to our earlier order?” asked the IHC chief justice, adding that the court would examine the possible repercussions of not implementing its orders.

Justice Farooq replied: “It’s all because of you. The court had provided a respectable path which was not followed.”

During the proceeding, Imran’s counsel presented an affidavit signed by Imran and urged the judge to suspend the arrest warrants issued for his client.

“Whether it was a civil court or a trial court, one must show respect to the court,” the IHC chief justice remarked.

Justice Farooq then remarked that a political party’s workers were attacking the police, adding that it was an attack on the state.

The court then reserved the verdict.

A local court in the federal capital issued Imran’s arrest warrants and ordered the police to arrest Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case once again over his non-appearance.

‘Real intent is to abduct and assassinate’
After the deployment of Rangers, the PTI chairman, in a series of tweets today, claimed that the “real intent is to abduct and assassinate him” as the police have “now resorted to live firing”.

“From tear gas & water cannons, they have now resorted to firing. I signed a surety bond last evening, but the DIG refused to even entertain it. There is no doubt of their mala fide intent,” he said.