Violence breaks out outside former PM Imran Khan’s residence in Pakistan as police attempt to arrest him

Khan, who has criticized state institutions and the Pakistani army, has been accused of corruption

March 15, 2023 by Peoples Dispatch
Police on the streets in Lahore
Police deployment on the streets of Zaman Park in Lahore, where Imran Khan's residence is located. (Photo: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf / Twitter)

Late on Tuesday, March 14, clashes broke out between Pakistani police and supporters of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), as the former arrived at Khan’s residence in Lahore to arrest him on charges of corruption.

On March 15, PTI raised an alert in a tweet, writing: “Residence of PTI Chairman Imran Khan under attack.” It also added, “Residence of former Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan is currently under attack by this fascist regime,” while sharing visuals of smoke billowing around Khan’s residence.

The clashes continued for nearly 24 hours, into March 15, as the police fired tear gas and rubber pellets at Khan’s residence in Lahore. Several injuries were reported on both sides. Security forces deployed outside Khan’s residence had begun retreating but relief only came when the Lahore High Court ordered the suspension of the operation until the morning of Thursday, March 16.

On February 28, a sessions court in the national capital Islamabad issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Khan over his continuous absence in court hearings on charges of  corruption and undeclared assets while he was in power from 2018 to 2022. “We will arrest Imran Khan today and present him in court,” said Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah at a public rally telecast live on local TV channels.

Imra Khan and his government were ousted from power in April last year after losing a vote of no confidence in the Parliament. He has frequently criticized state institutions and the Pakistani army in his public speeches. In October last year, Pakistan’s Election Commission disqualified Khan as a member of Parliament, finding him guilty of “corrupt practices.” Since Imran Khan’s  ouster, the PTI has been on the streets demanding snap general elections. General elections are currently scheduled to take place in October 2023.

In November, Khan survived an attempt on his life when he was injured by a gunshot during a protest march in Punjab’s Wazirabad.