LAHORE – At least 61 people were arrested as the Punjab Police raided the residence of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in Zaman Park soon after the former prime minister left for Islamabad for a court hearing.
Punjab Police Inspector General Dr Usman Anwar confirmed the number arrested PTI workers at a press conference soon after the police operation in Zaman Park. Punjab interim information minister Amir Mir accompanied the Punjab Police chief to the press conference.
Police demolished the main gate of Imran Khan’s residence and then forced their entry into the house. Police baton charged the PTI workers present inside Khan’s house and then arrested them. The police also ransacked Khan’s house during the search operation.
Some women in Khan’s house were seen crying and complaining about the police brutality. They said that police forced their entry into Khan’s house without ladies police and harassed the women inside the house.
Police said an anti-terrorism court judge issued the search warrants for Imran Khan’s house and the search operation was launched after that. Police also said that ladies police led the law enforcers into Khan’s house.
Later, police said that they found 16 guns during the raid on Khan’s house. They said that police were trying to verify who these guns belonged to.
Commenting on the police raid on Khan’s house, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan said that Zaman Park had become a “no-go area” and the police carried out the operation to clear the area. He said that presence of weapons inside Khan’s residence was a matter of concern. He said that Khan was preparing an armed group and he wanted to spread anarchy in Pakistan.
Reacting to the Zaman Park operation, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Aitzaz Ahsan said the Punjab Police carried out the operation in violation of the law. He said Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz’s approach was flawed; no politician or political party could be eliminated. He said that former prime ministers Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto were eliminated physically, but they could not be eliminated from the Pakistani politics.
He said his house was also damaged in the police operation and he would move the court against it. He also warned that police would try to implicate the arrested PTI workers in cases of severe nature. He said that such a raid on the house of a former prime minister was a matter of concern and the entire political leadership should think about it.