Imran dodges arrest after Islamabad Police show up at Lahore residence with court summons – Pakistan

PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday dodged arrest as Islamabad Police showed up at his Zaman Park residence in Lahore with court summons to take him into custody for his persistent absences from Toshakhana court hearings.

The 70-year-old former prime minister, who has been recovering from a gunshot injury from an assassination attempt in Wazirabad last year, has thrice skipped indictment hearings in an Islamabad sessions court in the case.

When the Islamabad Police along with their Punjab Police counterparts arrived at Imran’s residence just after noon today, they found a horde of PTI supporters along with party leaders, and were informed that the PTI chief was “unavailable”.

With PTI workers outnumbering the police contingent, and despite Islamabad police chief earlier saying that they won’t go back empty-handed, the arrest could not be made. The Islamabad police left Imran’s residence at around 1:30pm.

As Imran’s whereabouts were debated upon, he ended the hours-long mystery by addressing a televised party event right from the Zaman Park residence a little before 5pm.

What we know so far

  • Islamabad Police arrived at Imran’s Zaman Park residence in Lahore around 12:30pm to arrest him
  • They were met by a large amount of PTI workers, who massed outside his residence on Fawad Chaudhry’s call
  • Non-bailable arrest warrants were issued by a sessions court judge for Imran’s persistent no-shows in Toshakhana case hearings
  • Police said those who obstruct arrest will be prosecuted
  • Islamabad police chief said won’t go back empty-handed
  • PTI threatened mass protests if arrest goes through
  • Rana Sanaullah said Imran’s arrest was on court orders, and not the government’s
  • Police left Zaman Park at around 1:30pm
  • Imran addressed party workers at Zaman Park residence a little before 5pm
  • Party approached LHC for protective bail but could not file
  • PTI requests CJP to allow Imran to appear before various courts “virtually”

accused of concealing, in his assets declarations, details of the gifts he retained from the Toshakhana — a repository where presents handed to government officials from foreign officials are kept. Officials are legally allowed to retain gifts provided they pay a pre-assessed amount, typically a fraction of the value of the gift.

In a series of tweets today, the Islamabad Police said an operation to arrest Imran was being conducted with the cooperation of the Lahore police.

It stated that the PTI chief was “avoiding” the arrest, adding that the superintendent of police had “gone into Imran’s room but he was not present there”.

“Islamabad Police will transfer Imran Khan to Islamabad under their protection. Law is equal for all,” it said adding that legal action would be taken against those obstructing the execution of court orders.

Separately, Islamabad Inspector General of Police (IGP) Akbar Nasir said that the police had delivered the court’s notice to Imran and confirmed that it had to be received.

“Now, we are requesting him [Imran] to come with us,” he said in an interview with DawnNewsTV. “With a lot of respect, we have requested Imran Khan to come with us so that the court’s orders can be obeyed and Imran can be presented in court.”

He said that both Islamabad and Lahore’s police teams were present outside the ex-premier’s house and would not leave without arresting him.

“Police’s work is to implement court orders and keep the law and order situation intact. We will try our best that he [Imran] comes with us,” IGP Nasir added.

PTI leader Shibli Faraz received the summons on Imran’s behalf, writing on the document that it was received at 12:58pm and that “Chairman Imran Khan is not available however we will comply with all legal processes”.

Later in the day, when Imran’s presence at his residence was confirmed by way of his speech, Islamabad police said action would be taken against Senator Faraz for “misrepresenting facts” in the way of legal action.

Meanwhile, footage on television showed police officials in Islamabad Police uniforms as well as Punjab Police being held back by PTI workers outside the Zaman Park residence.

A little later, Punjab police reinforcements could also be seen arriving outside Imran’s house.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal on Feb 28, issued non-bailable arrest warrants for the PTI chief when he failed to appear in person for the indictment. Imran had four in-person court hearings that day and managed to secure bail in three of the four cases.

The warrant, a copy of which is available with, stated that Imran had repetitively failed to appear before the court. “The accused is making a pick and choose for courts and cases and this case is not included in his priority.”

“The accused be summoned through a non-bailable warrant of arrest for March 7,” it added.

disqualified under Article 63(1)(p) of the Constitution.

Subsequently, the ECP had approached the Islamabad sessions court with a copy of the reference, seeking proceedings against Imran under criminal law for allegedly misleading officials about the gifts he received from foreign dignitaries during his tenure as the prime minister.

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