Watch Pakistani Police Tear Gas Imran Khan’s House as Mob Resists Arrest – Latest News

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Watch Pakistani Police Tear Gas Imran Khan’s House as Mob Resists Arrest – Latest News

Pakistani police once again tried to arrest former Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday, and as with the attempt last week, his supporters formed a protective ring around his house and drove the police back.

The police used tear gas this time and the brawl quickly escalated into riots across Pakistan by members of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.

Khan is facing charges in several investigations, but the one he refuses to cooperate with concerns gifts from foreigners he is accused of keeping improperly when he was prime minister. This is known in Pakistan as the “Toshakhana case” after the name of the government agency that oversees such gifts. Khan denounced the charges as “fake” and urged his supporters to stand up against the “corrupt rulers” of Pakistan.

The judge in the Toshakhana case threatened several times to order Khan arrested without bail if he kept failing to show up in court. Khan crossed the judge’s red line at the beginning of March, but when police from the capital of Islamabad appeared at Khan’s house in Lahore to take him into custody, PTI supporters formed a protective ring around the house to hold them at bay. 

Khan, who is recovering from getting shot in the leg during a November assassination attempt, said he would not comply with the arrest warrant because the court cannot guarantee his safety. He and his party representatives implied the court was taking him into custody just to set him up for another murder attempt.

The Pakistani government turned up the heat on Khan on Sunday by publishing Toshakhana’s full list of gifts to former prime ministers and senior public officials since 2002. Virtually all of them have received gifts, mostly under the limit that allows the official to keep them (currently 30,000 rupees, which is about $107.) Officials are allowed to keep more expensive gifts only by purchasing them from Toshakhana at a discounted price set by the agency.

Khan is accused of concealing some of his gifts, manipulating Toshakhana officials to buy others at excessive discounts, and buying some gifts so he could resell them for a profit. Khan’s published list of gifts is quite extensive, including some very pricey designer watches and jewelry he evidently obtained for a fraction of their market value. 

When the police came back to Khan’s home in the upscale Zaman Park district of Lahore on Tuesday, Khan posted a video message to Twitter calling for nationwide unrest.

“My fellow Pakistanis, the police are outside waiting to arrest me. They believe that if Imran Khan is put in jail, the nation will fall asleep. You must prove them wrong. You must show that this nation is alive and kicking,” Khan said.

“If something happens to me and I am sent to jail or if I am killed, you have to prove that you will struggle without Imran Khan and not accept the slavery of these thieves and of the one person who has been making decisions for the country,” he said, dismissively referring to his successor, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Khan was ejected from office with a parliamentary vote of no confidence in April 2022, an action he describes as a plot by the United States and other hostile powers to overthrow his Islamist government. 

The police spent about an hour in position outside Khan’s house before advancing, using a water cannon and tear gas to drive the PTI crowd away. Clouds of tear gas were filmed rolling across Khan’s lawn:

The mob responded by pelting the police with stones. Local news footage showed a senior Islamabad police official limping away from the scene with assistance.

The crowd of Khan supporters successfully resisted the police effort to disperse them, and the police backed down before the situation could escalate any further 

PTI officials denounced the arrest attempt as “unhealthy revenge politics” and told supporters to stage demonstrations across the country. The party faithful obliged, marching down several different streets in Lahore and blocking traffic. More protests and road blockages were reported in Karachi, Peshawar, Rawalpindi, and Faisalabad.

PTI officials decided to reframe the mob battle outside Khan’s house as his first “campaign rally,” pointing to the size and passion of the crowd as proof he would soon return to the prime minister’s office:

Former PM Nawaz Sharif, brother of the current head of state, fired back by calling Khan a coward for sending mobs out to fight the police.

“If there was a person full of bravery and honor in his place, he would have drowned in shame instead of putting on this circus show. He would have left politics instead of being accused of cowardice and dishonor,” Sharif said of the spectacle outside Khan’s house on Tuesday.

On Tuesday afternoon, as the situation outside his house settled into a standoff, Khan told various foreign media outlets he was ready to be arrested and determined to win reelection from prison if necessary.

“I’m mentally prepared that I’m going to be spending my night in a cell. I don’t know how many nights, but I’m all prepared for that.Whether I am in jail or not they will not be able to stop my party winning,” he told the BBC.

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