Former Pakistani PM reacts to attempted arrest
Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan dodged police as authorities attempted to arrest him and bring him before a judge. The politician was ousted from office in a no-confidence vote last April and is accused of unlawfully selling gifts from foreign dignitaries during his reign. The 70-year-old has described the charges as absurd and politically motivated, and maintains his removal from power was actually a coup.
On Sunday, Islamabad police posted a series of tweets, announcing that it had sent a team of officers to arrest Khan at his residence in Lahore. Officials made a point of warning that action would be taken against anyone who tried to get in the way of the proceedings.
In subsequent messages, the authorities stated that the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party was “avoiding” arrest. Police had “gone into Imran’s room but he was not present there,” the tweets said. Shibli Faraz, who serves as Khan’s chief of staff, was quoted as telling officials that his boss was “not available” at the time, but would comply with the legal procedure.
The police eventually called off their “operation” and returned to the Pakistani capital
Later in the day, Khan addressed his supporters, saying he refused to comply with the authorities’ demands because he feared for his life amid alleged death threats. According to the former premier, the last time he appeared in court in Islamabad “no security was provided to me.”
Khan survived an assassination attempt back in November of last year.
The politician is at the center of several court cases, which he describes as nothing more than a vendetta by his political opponents.
Last week, an anti-graft court issued arrest warrants after Khan ignored several summonses.
Since his ouster, he has been leading a massive protest campaign, demanding a snap election in Pakistan.