Pakistan: PTI supporters clash with police to prevent Imran Khan's arrest

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Supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan run for cover after police firing tear gas shells to disperse them during clashes outside Khan's residence, in Lahore | AP Photo

Lahore : A police team that arrived at the ousted prime minister Imran Khan's residence in Zaman Park area here on Tuesday to arrest him, faced fierce resistance from the PTI supporters who braved tear gas and water cannons to keep the police personnel at bay, Pakistan based Dawn newspaper reported.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf workers engaged the police for more than 11 hours.

At Tuesday night, PTI gained an upper hand in Lahore. The influx of a large number of supporters into Zaman Park forced security men to retreat. By midnight, police had suffered around 30 casualties. Geo News reported that at least 15 PTI men had also been detained by the police, according to Dawn.

Meanwhile, Imran Khan has accused the federal government of planning his arrest according to a "London plan" to finish all cases against the country's former premier Nawaz Sharif.

In a video message, Khan said, "This is part of the London plan and an agreement has been signed there to put Imran in jail, make the PTI fall and finish all cases against Nawaz Sharif."

He further stated that he doesn't understand the reason behind the attack on people as he had already assured that he will be present in court on March 18.

The former prime minister said that to prevent any chaos, he had given an undertaking to the Lahore High Court Bar Association president who then attempted to forward it to the DIG who was coming to arrest him but the DIG did not meet the Bar president.

"According to Code of Criminal Procedure Section 76, if this surety bond is given to the arresting officer, then I cannot be arrested," Imran said.

The PTI chief said the DIG had no reason to not accept the undertaking and pointed to ill intentions.

The protests broke out in Islamabad, Peshawar, and Karachi after Imran Khan called on his supporters to "come out" following police's use of tear gas and a water cannon on supporters outside Zaman Park, where the PTI party chairman was holed up in his house.

The events in Zaman Park did not escape the notice of Mr Khan's supporters across the country, and several cities saw protests by PTI workers.

The Punjab police sought more water cannons on both sides of Canal Road and also fired tear gas shells at PTI workers, Samaa English reported.

In Peshawar, a large number of PTI supporters demonstrated outside the press club. After holding the demonstration, PTI workers blocked Sher shah Suri road and started marching towards the Governor House.

Islamabad police said PTI protesters had blocked Tarnol Road but timely action had been taken to reopen it for traffic. "A case has been registered in Tarnol Police Station against the PTI workers who blocked the road on the orders of Imran Khan," a police officer said.

Chowrangi, Karachi, people staged a dharna by setting tires on fire against the "atrocities" being carried out by the police in Zaman Park. (ANI)

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