Imran Khan vows ‘legal action’ against police who raided his Lahore residence

Pakistan’s ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan has vowed legal action against the security officials involved in the brutal thrashing of his party workers during a raid and search operation at his Zaman Park residence here.

PTI chief Imran Khan (file photo) (Reuters)
PTI chief Imran Khan (file photo) (Reuters)

While Khan was in Islamabad to attend a court on Saturday, more than 10,000 armed Punjab Police personnel launched a massive operation at his Zaman Park residence and arrested dozens of his supporters. The police claimed to have recovered weapons and petrol bombs from Khan’s house.

Khan’s supporters occupied the residence of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman late on Saturday night after he returned from Islamabad after attending the Toshakhana case hearing.

Heavy machinery was used by the Punjab Police to break into Khan’s residence. Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi was present in the house during the police raid.

Read also: Will Imran Khan’s party be banned in Pakistan?

The 70-year-old former prime minister said he would take legal action against those violating the veil and sanctity of the house.

“The attack on my house today was first and foremost contempt of court,” he said, adding that police raided his home without a search warrant.

In a series of tweets, he claimed, “We agreed that an SP with one of our men would execute the search warrant as we knew that otherwise they would plant stuff on their own, which they did.”

Khan questioned the officials under which law they broke the gate, felled trees and entered the house. What was worse, he said, was that the police raided his house after he appeared in the Islamabad court.

“Bushra Bibi, a completely private non-political person, was alone at home. This is a complete violation of the Islamic principle of chadar and chaar divari sanctity.” [veil and walls],” Khan said.

He said the issue of contempt, violation of the sanctity of the house and violence against his servants and domestic workers would be taken up in the court.

Meanwhile, the Lahore police on Sunday booked Khan and over 1,000 PTI workers on charges of terrorism in two cases. The number of cases against Khan has gone up to 97.

Police claimed to have recovered rifles, Kalashnikov, bullets, marbles and petrol bombs from his house during the search operation.

The police had also removed all the encroachments in Zaman Park for the past several months and destroyed the “bunker” built to attack law enforcement agencies.

Senior PTI leader Fawad Chaudhary told reporters on Sunday that Khan and the party would approach the court against the police attack on Khan’s residence. “The police have violated the sanctity of Khan’s house,” he said.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said the government would consult its legal team to assess whether a process could be initiated to ban Khan’s party.

Sanaullah said, “Terrorists were hiding in Zaman Park. Weapons, petrol bombs etc have been recovered from Imran Khan’s residence, which is enough evidence to file a case against PTI for being a terrorist organisation.”

On the government’s plan to start the process of declaring PTI as a banned organisation, the minister said: “Primarily it is a judicial process to declare any party as proscribed. However, we will consult our legal team on this issue.”

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif appeared to agree with his niece PMN-L’s senior vice president Maryam Nawaz’s claim that Khan’s party was a “terrorist organisation”.

“If anyone had any doubts, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Niazi’s actions in the last few days have exposed his fascist and extremist tendencies,” Sharif said.

Read also: ‘Give date and place’: Imran Khan’s party on Shehbaz Sharif’s talk offer

Police on Sunday secured one-day remand of over 100 PTI workers arrested during Saturday’s operation.

As the Punjab Police has completely withdrawn security from the PTI chief, the Gilgit-Baltistan province where his party is in power is providing him security.

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran was disqualified by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in October last year for not sharing details of the sale. The apex election body later filed a complaint in the district court to punish him under criminal laws for selling gifts received as the country’s prime minister.

Khan was ousted from power in April last year after losing a no-confidence vote, becoming the first Pakistani prime minister to be voted out by the National Assembly.

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