'Real Intent' Is To 'Abduct, Assassinate': Imran Khan As Pakistan Rangers Join Cops To Arrest Him

Despite an over eight-hour-long police operation outside his residence on Tuesday, the cops were not able to arrest Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case due to strong resistance from his party workers.

'Real Intent' Is To 'Abduct, Assassinate': Imran Khan As Pakistan Rangers Join Cops To Arrest Him

New Delhi: Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday (March 15, 2023) said that his arrest claim on corruption charges is a "mere drama" and that the real intent behind it is to "abduct and assassinate" him. Lahore's Zaman Park area, where Khan resides, has turned into a battleground after his defiant supporters engaged in pitched battles with police personnel on Tuesday to stop them from arresting their leader. A heavy contingent of Punjab Rangers also joined the police personnel on Wednesday to launch a fresh attempt at arresting the ousted Pakistani premier for failing to appear in court on graft charges.

"Clearly "arrest" claim was mere drama because real intent is to abduct & assassinate. From tear gas & water cannons, they have now resorted to live firing. I signed a surety bond last evening, but the DIG refused to even entertain it. There is no doubt of their mala fide intent," he said in a tweet after police arrived at his Zaman Park residence in Lahore to arrest him in the Toshakhana case on Tuesday.

As the Pakistan Rangers joined the 'Arrest Imran Khan Operation', the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) claimed that live bullets are being fired at the party workers present on the roads leading to Khan's residence.

"Rangers firing straight into unarmed citizens at Zaman Park as if they are attacking an enemy force on the battlefield," he said in another tweet.

"After our workers & leadership faced police onslaught since yesterday morning of tear gas, cannons with chemical water, rubber bullets & live bullets this morning; we now have Rangers taking over & are now in direct confrontation with the people," Khan tweeted.

"My question to the Establishment, to those who claim they are 'neutral': Is this your idea of neutrality, Rangers directly confronting unarmed protestors & ldrship of largest pol party when their ldr is facing an illegal warrant & case already in court & when govt of crooks trying to abduct & possibly murder him?" he wrote.

Despite an over eight-hour-long police operation outside his residence on Tuesday, the cops could not arrest Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case due to strong resistance from PTI workers. Supporters of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman clashed with the police outside his residence to foil his arrest. 

Several policemen and workers of his party were wounded and protests were held in several cities across the country.

Earlier in the day, Khan slammed the Shehbaz Sharif-led government for planning his arrest and said this is all part of a "London plan" to finish all cases against the country's ex-premier Nawaz Sharif.

In a video message, the cricketer-turned-politician said that an agreement has been signed in London to put him in jail and to make his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf fall.

"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 said in a 2:50-minute-long video.

He also slammed the Police for 'attacking' his supporters and using tear gas and a water cannon.

"Nawaz Sharif has been given assurance that I and my party will be attacked and pulled down," Imran Khan said.

On Tuesday, the 70-year-old had asked his supporters to "come out" to fight for real freedom and continue the struggle even if he is killed or arrested. 

"They (the government) think that after my arrest, the nation will fall asleep. You have to prove them wrong," he said.

"God has given me everything, and I am fighting this battle for you. I have been fighting this battle all my life, and I will continue to do so," the PTI chief stated.

"If something happens to me and I am sent to jail or if I am killed, you have to prove that you will struggle without Imran Khan and not accept the slavery of these thieves and of the one person who has been making decisions for the country," Khan said.

Soon after his speech, protests broke out in Islamabad, Peshawar, Karachi, Faisalabad, Sargodha, Vehari, Peshawar, Quetta, and Mianwali.

Khan has been in the crosshairs for buying gifts, including an expensive Graff wristwatch he had received as the premier at a discounted price from the state depository called Toshakhana, and selling them for profit.

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, he has been clamouring for immediate elections to oust what he termed an "imported government" led by PM Shehbaz Sharif.

Sharif has maintained that elections will be held later this year once the parliament completes its five-year tenure.