Police siege continues for 2nd day at Pakistan ex-PM Khan’s residence

Islamabad, Mar 15 (EFE).- A police siege of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Lahore residence continued for the second day on Wednesday in bid to arrest the defiant leader in relation to a case concerning the sale of state gifts.

On Tuesday, the Islamabad police, under court orders to arrest Khan, reached his residence at Zaman Park in Lahore, where he has been living since a gunshot attack wounded both his legs during a rally in November last year.

Punjab police said more than 100 of its policemen and officers were wounded during the clashes with Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party workers overnight.

PTI also claimed hundreds of their workers were also wounded during clashes with the police. Several pictures of shells fired were also shared by the party on its social media accounts.

Sharing pictures of fired bullets on Twitter, Khan said on Wednesday that the authorities intend to kill in the name of arrest.

He said the arrest claim was “mere drama because real intent is to abduct [and] assassinate” him.

Early Wednesday, the police resorted to firing teargas shells again, both inside and outside Khan’s residence to disperse his supporters present there and who have been keeping the police at bay since Tuesday afternoon.

“Shelling has started inside Imran Khan’s house once again,” PTI said early Wednesday morning.

The party, which claims to be the largest party of the country, urged its supporters to reach Zaman Park to “help the workers fighting terrorism for 20 hours.”

The PTI also released pictures from inside his residence depicting smoke and burning shells visible on the lawn.

“From tear gas [and] water cannons, they have now resorted to live firing,” Khan claimed on Twitter. “There is no doubt of their mala fide intent.”

The former cricket star turned politician claimed his party members have been facing a police onslaught using tear gas, cannons with chemical water and rubber bullets since Tuesday afternoon, and live bullets on Wednesday morning.

He added that the paramilitary Rangers force had taken over and was now in direct confrontation with the people.

Khan also raised questions of the powerful military, referred to as the establishment, after it went on record claiming it had nothing to do with politics and was neutral.

“Is this your idea of neutrality, Rangers directly confronting unarmed protestors and leadership of largest political party when their leader is facing an illegal warrant and case already in court and when government of crooks trying to abduct and possibly murder him,” Khan tweeted.

Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court is hearing a petition filed by Khan’s lawyers to suspend his arrest warrants on Wednesday. The police will have to retreat if his petition is granted. EFE


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