Today marks the end of the court’s restriction on a police operation to arrest former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan from his residence in Zaman Park, Lahore.
The attempt to arrest Khan on Tuesday led to clashes between police and his supporters, resulting in injuries on both sides. The Lahore High Court had initially barred the police from arresting Khan until Thursday, and later extended the deadline to Friday. Today, the court will hear the case again to reach a consensus solution after negotiations with the Punjab administration.
Despite repeated summons, former Prime Minister Imran Khan did not appear before a court in Islamabad for the Toshakhana reference, which involves the sale of state gifts given by foreign leaders during his tenure.
The court issued an order for Khan’s arrest, but he and his aides have cited security concerns for his non-appearance, as he received gunshot wounds during an anti-government rally in November of last year. In addition to the Toshakhana reference, Khan faces over 75 cases on various charges including blasphemy, terrorism, and sedition, though he claims they are politically motivated while the government denies this. “They want to put me in jail,” he was quoted as saying by his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party on Twitter.
It is unclear whether the Lahore High Court will extend its ban on the police operation to arrest the former PM given that Khan is anticipated to appear before the sessions court in Islamabad tomorrow, Saturday. Additionally, it is unclear whether the sessions court’s non-bailable arrest warrants issued in the Toshakhana case will be suspended today.
Hundreds of Khan’s supporters are still camped out in front of his Zaman Park residence in Lahore, and they’ve vowed to resist any efforts by the government to have their leader arrested.
Khan was removed from office by a parliamentary vote of no confidence in April of last year. Since then, he has organized large protest marches and demonstrations to demand that the government call early elections.