Imran Khan, the Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), stated on Wednesday that his current residence in Zaman Park, Lahore, has been encircled by police. He voiced concerns about the potential of being apprehended.
Imran Khan was detained on May 9, a day marked by violent protests, in connection with the Al-Qadir Trust corruption case. However, he was subsequently released on bail by a court.
Following his release, the ousted prime minister, who was deposed in April of the previous year, addressed his party members. He stated that he would not resist if the police arrived with a search warrant to conduct an operation at his Zaman Park residence.
“I have just heard that 40 terrorists are hiding at my residence. Please do come here [but] in a civilised manner and don’t attempt to storm my residence,” he said while addressing his supporters.
“If 40 terrorists are present at my house, then my life is also in danger. Please carry out a search operation but tell me the names of terrorists and we will show you our entire house.”
He also warned against using the search operation against terrorists as a pretext to attack his house saying “don’t fan this fire any further”.
His statement came as the interim Punjab government has given a 24-hour deadline to the PTI to hand over the “30-40 terrorists that have taken refuge” at the former prime minister’s Zaman Park residence to the police.
“PTI should handover these terrorists or the law will take its course,” said Caretaker Information Minister Aamir Mir while addressing a press conference in Lahore earlier today. He also added that the government was aware about the presence of these “terrorists” as it had credible intelligence reports.
“The intelligence report that has come is very alarming,” said Mir. He added that the agencies were able to confirm the presence of the “terrorists” in Zaman Park through geo-fencing.
“PDM running away from elections”
In today’s address, Khan said the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government was not going to hold elections in the country even if they had to violate Constitution.
The ruling alliance is afraid that Khan will come into power if the elections are held and reopen their corruption cases worth billions of rupees.
Referring to the ongoing crackdown on the PTI leaders and workers over their alleged involvement in violent protests, the deposed premier expressed concerns that “whatever is happening will trigger a huge backlash that will cause more damage”.
While denying any role in the ransacking of public and military installations following his arrest on May 9, the PTI chief said they were moving the court to form a judicial commission to probe the countrywide riots.
“We have received evidence [that] miscreants were infiltrated who had weapons and were asking people to attack the Corps Commander House,” he remarked.
Khan said as many as 25 workers of PTI were killed and 700 were receiving medical treatment after they were shot at during the violent protests.
Besides, he said thousands of workers and leaders had been put in jail.
“PDM pitting PTI against army”
“Listen to my interviews, I defended my army in the world,” Khan said, adding that foreign lobbies wanted to weaken the military.
Defending his tirade against military, the former prime minister said that he always criticised the army for its “betterment”.
The PTI chairman said that he never thought he could live anywhere except in his own country. Whatever facilities are available in a foreign state it can never be in my native country, Khan said, adding: “I will be a second-class citizen [there].”
Referring to ongoing political situation emerged after the May 9 violent protests and attacks on the military installations — including the General Headquarters — the deposed premier blamed the Pakistan Democratic Movement — multi-party ruling allice — for bringing the PTI and the armed forces face to face.
“On May 9, I told [the authorities] that I am ready for arrest if they have warrants,” Khan added. Expressing his anger over the way he was arrested from the Islamabad High Court by the Rangers personnel last week.
The former prime minister said, “I was whisked away as if I was the biggest terrorist.”