Pakistani police on Sunday registered a terrorism case against Imran Khan and over a dozen PTI leaders for indulging in vandalism, attacking security personnel and creating unrest outside the judicial complex in Islamabad ahead of a court hearing in a graft case involving the ousted premier.
Clashes erupted outside the Islamabad Judicial Complex on Saturday when Mr Khan arrived in Islamabad from Lahore to attend a much-awaited hearing in the Toshakhana case.
During the confrontation between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf workers and police, over 25 security personnel were injured, prompting Additional District and Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal to defer the court hearing till March 30.
The case was registered against arrested PTI workers and wanted party leaders. About 17 PTI leaders were named in the FIR lodged by the Islamabad Police, Geo News reported.
The FIR states that the workers damaged the police check post and the main gate of the judicial complex, it said.
As many as 18 people were arrested for arson, pelting stones and breaking the judicial complex’s building, said the FIR.
“About two police vehicles and seven motorcycles were burned, and the official vehicle of the station house officer (SHO) was damaged,” it added.
Imran Khan, 70, arrived in Islamabad from Lahore to appear before the court. He was accompanied by his supporters in a convoy.
Soon after he departed for Islamabad to attend the hearing, over 10,000 armed Punjab police personnel breached Mr Khan’s Zaman Park residence in Lahore and arrested dozens of his party workers.
The police personnel, using a power shovel, removed the barricades and tents at the entrance of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party chief’s residence and evicted hundreds of his supporters camping there to prevent Khan’s arrest in the Toshakhana case.
They conducted a search at the house after demolishing its main gate and walls. Punjab Police, whose action ended later, were reportedly met with resistance from PTI workers from inside, resulting in violence. About 10 workers were reportedly injured in the police operation in Lahore.
PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said on Sunday said the party will get cases registered against police officers involved in the “illegal operations” and violence at Mr Khan’s residence.
“Today, a meeting of the legal team has been called. The way in which the police defied the Lahore High Court’s decision entering Imran Khan’s residence has trampled every rule of the home’s sanctity. [things were] stolen. [They] also took away juice boxes. Innocent people were subjected to torture,” he tweeted.
“Defying court order is unforgivable. The high court should guard its judgment. Cases are being registered on all police officers who conducted illegal operations and were involved in violence,” he said.
Earlier, Imran Khan appeared before Lahore High Court on Friday and assured that he was ready to present himself on Saturday before Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Iqbal handling the corruption case against him.
The PTI chief has been in the dock for buying gifts, including an expensive Graff wristwatch, he had received as the premier at a discounted price from the state depository called Toshakhana and selling them for profit.
Established in 1974, the Toshakhana is a department under the administrative control of the Cabinet Division and stores precious gifts given to rulers, parliamentarians, bureaucrats, and officials 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 details of the sales. The top electoral body later filed a complaint with the district court to punish him, under criminal laws, for selling the gifts he had received as prime minister of the country.
Mr Khan was ousted from power in April last year after losing a no-confidence vote, becoming the first Pakistani prime minister to be voted out by the National Assembly.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)