‘Police here to send me to jail’, says Khan in video amid clashes

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DEVELOPING STORY,

Police action comes a day after Islamabad court issued arrest warrants for Imran Khan in alleged corruption and ‘terrorism’ cases.

Islamabad, Pakistan – Clashes have erupted between the Pakistani police and supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan ahead of his possible arrest in the eastern city of Lahore.

Police on Tuesday fired tear gas and water cannons as hundreds of members and supporters of Khan’s Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party gathered outside his Zaman Park residence in Lahore.

Television images showed police approaching Khan’s residence accompanied by an armoured vehicle. Khan’s supporters were also seen throwing stones at the police.

Syed Shehzad Nadeem Bukhari, a senior officer in the Islamabad Police, told reporters they intended to arrest Khan.

“We are here to fulfil the warrant and to arrest Imran Khan,” he said.

Minutes later, Khan posted a video message on Twitter, saying his supporters should fight for their rights – “for real freedom” – if he is arrested.

“Police is here to send me to jail. They think if Imran Khan goes to jail, this nation will go to sleep. You have to prove them wrong,” he said in the video.

“[If] something happens to me, if they send me to jail, or if I am killed, you have to show you can fight without me as well.”

Police earlier said they were going to Khan’s house to hand him over the two arrest warrants in alleged corruption and “terrorism” cases issued by a court in capital Islamabad on Monday.

One of the warrants relates to Khan, 70, allegedly threatening a female judge during one of his speeches last year. The other follows charges that Khan sold state gifts and concealed assets while in office as prime minister.

Since losing a vote of confidence in parliament in April last year, Khan has been demanding general elections in rallies across the country. He says the cases against him are politically motivated.

His successor Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has rejected Khan’s demand to hold early polls, which are scheduled later this year.



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