PTI workers clash with police at Zaman Park

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ISLAMABAD – Another tense day in Pakistani politics as Islamabad police operations chief, leading a number of cops and anti-riots squad, has reached at the residence of former prime minister Imran Khan to arrest him in Toshakhana case.

While the police have almost sealed all areas leading to Zaman Park, where the PTI chairman lives, party workers in big groups carrying batons are there to block their leader’s arrest. 

Reports said clashes erupted between protesters and police outside the Imran Khan’s residence when the former started pelting stones and beating the cops.Later, police resorted to shelling and they managed to push back the PTI workers to take control of the main gate of the Imran Khan’s residence.

PTI Senior Vice President Shah Mehmood Qureshi, in a media talk, has asked the DIG operations of Islamabad police to negotiate over the warrants claiming that Khan is on protective bail. He also appealed to the top law-enforcement officers not to take brutal measures as they “don’t want any kind of violence.”

The PTI chief has shared a video message on Twitter as police have taken control of his residence. He urged the people to continue their struggle for real freedom whether “I was killed or put in jail”. He asked the masses to not accept the decision being made by “one person”.

The defiant politician said he would also continue his struggle for the rights of people. 

The federal cops have a backup of hundreds of Punjab Police personnel in the area close to The Mall, the heart of Punjab capital.A day earlier, a district and sessions court in the federal capital restored the arrest warrants against the PTI chairman in the Toshakhana case after he failed to appear before it despite an orders from the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

Additional Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal announced the verdict and ordered the authorities to produce the suspect before court on March 18.

The court had summoned the PTI chief on Monday for indictment in the case initiated on the complaint filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan. Khan has skipped the indictment for four times. Last week, the IHC suspended the non-bailable arrest warrants issued against the former PM by the sessions court till March 13. IHC chief justice Aamer Farooq accepted Khan’s plea against judge’s decision and directed him to ensure that he appears on March 13 before the trial court.Last Sunday, the capital police also reached Mr Khan’s residence in Zaman Park to arrest him but they could not took him into custody. 

Last year, a reference was filed against him by PDM lawmakers accusing him of not sharing the details of gifts he retained from Toshakhana, a state depository, in his assets declarations. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in October last year founded the PTI chief guilty and disqualified him for being dishonest. Later, it approached the district and sessions court seeking criminal proceedings against Imran Khan for allegedly misleading officials about the gifts.

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