Pak police register terrorism case against ex-PM Imran Khan and PTI leaders for vandalism in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani police on Sunday filed a terrorism case against Imran Khan and more than a dozen PTI leaders for vandalism, attacking security personnel and creating disturbances outside the court complex here ahead of a hearing in a corruption case involving the ousted Prime Minister.
Clashes erupted outside the Islamabad Court Complex on Saturday, when Khan arrived in Islamabad from Lahore to attend a much-awaited hearing at the Toshakhana case.
During the standoff between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers and police, more than 25 security personnel were injured, prompting district judge and additional sessions Zafar Iqbal to postpone the hearing on March 30.
The case was filed against arrested PTI workers and wanted party leaders. Around 17 PTI leaders were named in the FIR filed by Islamabad police, Geo News reported.
The FIR says the workers damaged the police checkpoint and the main gate to the court complex, it said.
As many as 18 people were arrested for arson, throwing stones and destroying the court complex building, the FIR said.
“About two police vehicles and seven motorbikes were set on fire, and the police station officer’s official vehicle (SHO) was damaged,” he added.
Khan, 70, arrived in Islamabad from Lahore to appear in court. He was accompanied by his supporters in a convoy.
Shortly after he left for Islamabad to attend the hearing, more than 10,000 armed Punjabi police raided Khan’s Zaman Park residence in Lahore and arrested dozens of his party members.
Police personnel, using an electric shovel, removed barricades and tents at the entrance to the residence of the leader of the Pakistani party Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and evicted hundreds of his supporters who were camped there to prevent Khan’s arrest in the Toshakhana case.
They searched the house after demolishing its main door and walls. Punjab police, whose action later ended, reportedly faced resistance from PTI workers from within, leading to violence. A dozen workers were reportedly injured during the police operation in Lahore.
PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said on Sunday that the party would file cases against police officers involved in the “unlawful operations” and violence at Khan’s home.
“Today a meeting of the legal team has been called. The manner in which the police defied the decision of the Lahore High Court to enter the residence of Imran Khan flouted all the rules of the sanctity of the House. [things were] stolen. [They] also took away juice boxes. Innocents were tortured,” he tweeted.
“It is unforgivable to defy the order of the court. The high court should keep its judgment. Cases are filed against all police officers who carried out unlawful operations and were involved in violence,” he said.
Earlier, Khan appeared in the Lahore High Court on Friday and assured that he was ready to appear before the District and Additional Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Iqbal on the bribery case against him on Saturday.
The PTI leader was accused of buying gifts, including an expensive Graff wristwatch, which he received as prime minister at a discount from the state depositary called Toshakhana and selling them for a profit.
Established in 1974, the Toshakhana is a department under the administrative control of the Cabinet Division and stores valuable gifts given to leaders, parliamentarians, bureaucrats and civil servants by heads of other governments and states and foreign dignitaries.
The cricketer-turned-politician was disqualified by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in October last year for not sharing sales details. The main electoral body then filed a complaint with the district court to punish him under criminal laws for selling the gifts he had received as the country’s prime minister.
Khan was ousted from power in April last year after losing a vote of no confidence, becoming the first Pakistani prime minister to be ousted by the National Assembly.


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