PML-N leader Ata Tarrar called PTI chief Imran Khan a man devoid of courage, saying he raised a hue and cry just to avoid his arrest, on Tuesday.
“Imran Khan claims to be a national leader but he is in the hiding despite the issuance of arrest warrants by the courts,” Tarrar said while addressing a presser in Lahore.
He added that Imran is making every effort in order to safe himself. “He locks himself in a bathroom every time the police arrives at his residence to take him into custody.”
Tarrar called upon the former premier to face the courts, reiterating the stance that he gets ‘unwell’ every time he is to appear in a court, but is completely healthy when we wants to lead a rally.
“Imran is setting a wrong precedence and this will allow leeway to every criminal in the country,” he said. “This country cannot be run on two standards of justice.”
According to the PML-N leader, the PTI chairman wants to avoid his indictment by a court of law in every possible way.
Tarrar, on the occasion, made it clear that the federal government had nothing to do with the arrest.
Police reinforcements arrive
Fresh police contingents arrived on the scene amid continued clashes between the party’s workers and police.
Some news reports suggested that the fresh contingent was equipped with batons, with an aim to repel the protesters preventing the arrest.
Several PTI workers and police personnel suffered injuries in the skirmishes that begun during the day.
Rangers surround residence
Rangers personnel surrounded the residence, as many of the 200 people inside were said to be armed.
Authorities monitored the house via helicopter ahead of the possible arrest of the former premier.
Police used water cannons to disperse party’s workers as they moved forth in their quest to take Imran into custody.
Who will head the PTI next?
Meanwhile, Imran arranged for an alternate leadership to run the party’s affairs after his imminent arrest.
In case he is apprehended, a six-member emergency committee will look after the affairs of the party.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Saifullah Khan Niazi, Azam Swati, Aijaz Chaudhry, Murad Saeed, and Ali Amin Gandapur will be a part of the emergency committee.
عمران خان کی ممکنہ گرفتاری، زمان پارک کی ہیلی کاپٹر کے زریعے نگرانی کی جارہی ہے۔ pic.twitter.com/KZYlQPIwP8
— Naya Daur Urdu (@nayadaurpk_urdu) March 14, 2023
Islamabad’s police team has been in the provincial capital to execute court orders to apprehend the PTI chief.
On Monday, Islamabad district and sessions court Judge Zafar Iqbal restored non-bailable arrest warrants for the accused in the Toshakhana reference and instructed the police to arrest him by March 18.
The former premier has skipped three hearings in the case, after being accused of concealing the details of the Toshakhana gifts, in his assets declarations.
The Toshakhana reference, which was submitted by MPs from the ruling coalition last year, claims that PTI Chairman Imran Khan failed to provide information about the gifts he received from the Toshaskhana (during his tenure as prime minister) and the money from their alleged sales.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had reached the decision on October 21, 2022, that the former prime minister had in fact made “false statements and erroneous declarations” about the gifts.
The Toshakhana is a department of the Cabinet Division that houses presents that foreign dignitaries and the heads of other states have given to officials. Gifts/presents and other similar items received by those to whom these rules apply must be reported to the Cabinet Division, as per Toshakhana regulations.
The watchdog’s order had said Imran stood disqualified under Article 63(1)(p) of the Constitution.
The ECP then submitted a copy of the reference to the Islamabad Sessions Court, requesting that Imran be charged with a crime for allegedly lying to officials about the gifts he received from foreign dignitaries while serving as prime minister.