Punjab police on Thursday registered an FIR against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan under a plethora of charges, including terrorism, a day after pitched battles broke out between security personnel and the ousted prime minister’s defiant supporters here.
The FIR, registered by the Punjab Police, said Khan incited over 2,500 of his party workers present at Zaman Park to attack police personnel who wanted to arrest him in a corruption case.
The PTI supporters also torched police vehicles, threw petrol bombs at policemen and Rangers and caused injuries to a number of cops, it said.
Khan, 70, has also been booked in 83 FIRs across the country in which he is facing numerous charges ranging from inciting the public, contempt of a female judge and interference in official work to murder, abetment to murder, terrorism, treason and blasphemy.
Lahore’s upscale Zaman Park area, where Khan resides, turned into a battleground for two days after his supporters clashed with policemen on Tuesday to stop them from arresting their leader in the Toshakhana case, resulting in injuries to more than 60 people.
Following the Lahore High Court (LHC) order, police and other law enforcement officials withdrew from Khan’s residence on Wednesday, putting a halt to clashes.
Khan, the former Pakistan Prime Minister, has been in the crosshairs for buying gifts, including an expensive Graff wristwatch he had received as the premier
Khan skipped the indictment hearing in this case on several occasions, which led to an arrest warrant being slapped against him.
A district court judge on Thursday said he would halt attempts by the Islamabad police to arrest Khan in the Toshakhana case if the ousted premier surrendered before the court.
Meanwhile, containers were placed outside the entrance to Khan’s residence by his supporters on Thursday after the LHC ordered police action be postponed till March 17.
The court directive notwithstanding, there was still a heavy contingent of police across Zaman Park area.
Khan was ousted from power in April last year after losing a no-confidence vote, which he alleged was part of a US-led conspiracy targeting him because of his independent foreign policy decisions on Russia, China and Afghanistan.
Since his ouster, Khan has been asking for early elections to oust what he termed an “imported government” led by prime minister Shehbaz Sharif.
Sharif has maintained that elections will be held later this year once the parliament completes its five-year tenure.