Imran to appear in court today, supporters gather near his house with batons and iron rods

Imran Khan is set to appear before the Lahore High Court today. Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has given a call to party workers to reach his Zaman Park residence and accompany their leader to the court. Supporters, armed with batons and iron rods, have gathered near Imran’s Lahore’s residence.

India Today World Desk

New Delhi ,UPDATED: Mar 17, 2023 16:16 IST

Imran khan

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. (Photo: AP/File)

By India Today World Desk: Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will appear before Lahore High Court after 2 pm on Friday on the arrest warrant against him and the police action for not appearing in court. Supporters of Imran Khan and his party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, gathered around his residence to thwart any police action.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has given a call to party workers to reach Imran’s residential area, Zaman Park, and accompany him during his journey to the court.

Imran Khan’s supporters, armed with batons and iron rods, remained stationed outside his Lahore residence.

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As tension prevails in Imran Khan’s Zaman Park neighbourhood, he took to Twitter on Thursday to express his concern about being arrested.

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“I will not refrain from any sacrifice for the sake of Pakistan’s uplift, interest and democracy. I am willing to talk to anyone and take every step towards it,” tweeted Imran Khan.

Khan also expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the people of Pakistan who joined him “in the struggle for true freedom and to our workers from all over Pakistan, including Lahore”.

On Tuesday, Lahore Police arrived at Zaman Park to arrest Imran Khan. This was the second time in less than 10 days that Imran evaded his arrest because of massive protests by PTI supporters.

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Supporters of Imran Khan lit tear gas shells, burnt tyres and vehicles littered the roads in Lahore’s Zaman Park area. The area turned into a battleground.

For more than 11 hours, supporters of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) clashed with police personnel to stop them from arresting the ousted Pakistan prime minister, resulting in dozens of policemen getting injured.

A police contingent, accompanied by armoured vehicles, reached Khan’s Lahore residence to arrest him after a non-bailable warrant was issued against him in the Toshakhana (gift depository) case.

Fearing the worst, PTI leaders, including Imran Khan himself, appealed to party workers to rush to Zaman Park, where they served as human shields and stood between Imran Khan’s residence and the police.

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A non-bailable warrant was issued against former Pakistan PM Imran Khan after investigations revealed how he concealed his assets and details of gifts he retained from the Toshakhana (the department that stores expensive items, including gifts, received by public servants). In connection with this, Imran Khan was accused of earning $36 million from selling three watches gifted to him.

It was alleged that Imran Khan never deposited some gifts in the treasury, an act which was seen as a violation since the prime minister of Pakistan can retain gifts only after paying a certain amount.

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However, Imran Khan denied the charges.

The Election Commission of Pakistan had found Khan guilty and barred him from holding public office for one parliamentary term.

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