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World News | Zaman Park in Lahore under siege after police clashes with Imran Khan supporters

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Lahore, March 15 (PTI) Tear gas shells, burnt tires and vehicles littered the roads in the Zaman Park area of ​​Lahore as supporters of Imran Khan clashed with police personnel for more than 11 days. The area has turned into a battleground after hours of fierce fighting to prevent their arrest of the ousted Pakistani prime minister, injuring dozens of police officers.

Islamabad police contingent and armored vehicles arrived at the home of party chairman Khan in Lahore on Tuesday to arrest him after a no-bail order was issued, after clashes between Pakistan Instigation for Justice (PTI) workers and police in the Zaman Park area of ​​Lahore in In the ongoing Toshakhana (Gift Safekeeping) case against him.

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“Obviously the ‘arrest’ talk is just drama, as the real intent is kidnapping and assassination. From tear gas and water cannon, they’re now resorting to live ammunition. I signed a bond last night, but the DIG refused to even take it. Nothing There is no doubt that their intentions were malicious,” Khan tweeted on Wednesday.

Police, backed by rangers and wearing riot gear, cordoned off the home of 70-year-old Khan to comply with a court order to arrest him in the Toshakhana case.

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Fearing the worst, several PTI leaders, including Khan himself, called on party operatives to rush to Zaman Park, where they acted as human shields between Khan’s residence and the police.

Police fired tear gas but met resistance, finding that PTI staff were not intimidated.

“Since yesterday morning our workers and leadership have been attacked by police tear gas, chemical water cannon, rubber bullets and live ammunition this morning; we now have Rangers taking over and directly confronting the people,” Khan tweeted Special wrote.

“I would like to ask the establishment, and those who claim to be ‘neutral’: Is this your idea of ​​neutrality, with the Rangers directly confronting unarmed protesters and the leader of the largest political party, who is facing illegal Warrant, case already in court, and when crooked government tries to kidnap and possibly murder him?” he wrote Wednesday.

For more than 11 hours, PTI workers fought a pitched battle with the capital’s police force well into the night.

As night fell in Lahore, PTI workers gained the upper hand – not only opening up more fronts across the city, but supporters poured into Zaman Park forcing the retreat of security personnel. Police had claimed around 30 casualties as of midnight, The Dawn newspaper reported on Wednesday.

In a late-night meeting called by Punjab Interim Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi to assess the security situation in the provincial capital, it was decided to bring up the detention of the PTI chief again and conclude the operation by morning.

To kick off the program, a new police force and Rangers were in place at the mall in the early hours of Wednesday, the report said.

It was the second time in less than 10 days that police arrived at Zaman Park to arrest the ousted prime minister.

Speaking to the BBC, Khan said police came to arrest him “out of the blue” but did not notify him.

“We saw on the news that the police were coming to arrest me,” he said.

“I was mentally prepared to spend the night in a cell, I don’t know how many nights. I was all prepared for it. But I think they’ve made up their minds [this time] According to Geo News, they want me behind bars,” he said.

In a late-night tweet, PTI leader Asad Umar said the president of the Lahore High Court Bar Association had assured Khan would appear in court on March 18.

He added that given the commitment, there was “no justification” for the police action.

In a video message on Tuesday, Khan asked his supporters to “come out” and fight for true freedom, even if he was killed or arrested. “They (the government) thought the whole country would fall asleep after I was arrested. You have to prove them wrong,” he said in the video.

“God has given me everything and I’m fighting this battle for you. I’ve fought this battle my whole life and I will continue to do so.

“If something happens to me and I’m sent to jail or killed, you have to prove that you will continue to fight without Imran Khan and not accept slavery from these thieves and a man who makes decisions for the country, ” He said.

The Zaman Park standoff sparked protests across the country, with PTI workers launching protests in several cities.

In Islamabad, at least four police officers were injured and more than two dozen supporters of the former ruling were detained after protests erupted in several parts of the federal capital, leading to a standoff across the city.

A series of sporadic organized protests erupted in Karachi, with Pakistani Tehreek-e-Insaf workers blocking roads and disrupting traffic in several parts of the city.

Shortly after Khan’s speech, protests also erupted in Peshawar, Faisalabad, Sargodha, Vihari, Quetta and Mianwali.

PTI has announced that it will not let law enforcement agencies arrest Khan because it fears he could be poisoned in prison.

Khan has been the target of buying gifts, including expensive Graff watches, which he received as prime minister at a discount from a state depository institution called Toshakhana, and selling them at a profit.

On Monday, Lahore police registered Khan in a case related to the death of PTI worker Ali Bilal alias Zille Shah in a car accident.

Earlier, Lahore police had registered Khan and 400 others with the FIR for the Shah’s murder.

This is the 81st FIR against Khan since the PML-N-led federal coalition came to power 11 months ago after toppling his government through a no-confidence motion.

Khan was ousted last April after losing a no-confidence vote he claimed was part of a US-led plot against him because of his independence in foreign policy decisions on Russia, China and Afghanistan.

Since his ouster, Khan has called for early elections to overthrow what he calls an “imported government” led by Prime Minister Sheikh Baz Sharif.

Sharif has insisted that elections will be held later this year once parliament completes its five-year term.

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)

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