Pakistani Police Storm Home Of Former PM Khan, Arrest 61

LAHORE, Islamabad (AP) — Pakistani police stormed former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s residence within the jap metropolis of Lahore on Saturday and arrested 61 individuals amid tear gasoline and clashes between Khan’s supporters and police, officers mentioned.

Senior police officer Suhail Sukhera, who led the operation in an upscale Lahore neighborhood, mentioned police acted to take away a barricade erected by members of Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf social gathering and his defiant supporters. He mentioned they blocked the lanes round Khan’s residence with concrete blocks, felled timber, tents and a parked truck.

Khan was not within the house, having traveled to Islamabad to look earlier than a choose to face prices he offered state items whereas in workplace and hid his belongings. The choose postponed that listening to till March 30.

Sukhera mentioned baton-wielding Khan supporters tried to withstand police by throwing stones and Molotov cocktails and a person on the roof of Khan’s residence opened hearth. At least three cops had been injured.

Sukhera mentioned police broke open the primary door of Khan’s residence and located computerized weapons, Molotov cocktails, iron rods and batons utilized in assaults on police throughout the week. Sukhera mentioned that contained in the sprawling residence, unlawful buildings had been erected to shelter individuals concerned in assaults on police which have injured dozens of officers.

Witnesses in Lahore mentioned police tried to disperse Khan’s supporters by firing tear gasoline and chased them to a number of properties within the Zaman Park neighborhood. Khan’s lawyer appeared in an Islamabad court docket on Saturday after a high court docket Friday suspended Khan’s arrest warrant, giving him a reprieve to journey to Islamabad and face prices within the graft case with out being detained.

Khan had been holed up at his house in Lahore since Tuesday after failing to look at an earlier listening to within the case. His supporters hurled rocks and clashed with baton-wielding police for 2 days to guard the previous premier from arrest.

Khan’s motorcade arrived Saturday close to the federal judicial complicated in Islamabad, the place his supporters additionally clashed with police who prevented them from coming into the complicated. The enraged Khan supporters threw rocks at police who responded by lobbing tear gasoline canisters to disperse them.

Khan’s legal professional, Babar Awan, filed an software for Khan’s exemption from look in court docket amid particular circumstances.

Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar condemned Khan for not turning himself over to police and never showing in court docket Saturday regardless of arriving on the judicial complicated gate. He accused Khan of utilizing his protesting supporters to keep away from indictment.

Khan’s supporter set two police autos and several other bikes outdoors the judicial complicated on hearth whereas dispersing, in line with the regulation minister.

Khan’s PTI social gathering secretary-general, Asad Umar, in a letter to Pakistan’s chief justice famous that police waited till Khan was en path to Islamabad to storm his Lahore residence. He mentioned the “doors and walls have been razed to the ground” and greater than 40 individuals on the house had been arrested.

Khan, now the opposition chief, was ousted in a no-confidence vote in Parliament final April. He is accused of promoting state items whereas in workplace and concealing belongings, prices he denies. It’s one in a string of circumstances that the previous cricket star turned Islamist politician has been going through since his ouster.

The 70-year-old Khan, who has referred to as for early elections in Parliament, has claimed that his removing from energy was a part of a conspiracy by his successor, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, and the United States. Both Washington and Sharif’s authorities have denied the allegation.

Associated Press author Zarar Khan in Islamabad contributed.