ISLAMABAD: Amid clashes between law enforcement agencies and PTI workers during a raid on his Lahore residence after he left for Islamabad to appear before a court, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan said the ‘drama’ was staged by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government only to arrest him.

Mr Khan said that Punjab police had led an assault on his house in Zaman Park where Bushra Begum was alone. “Under what law they are doing this?” he asked.

In a video message on Saturday, Mr Khan linked the raid to the so-called ‘London Plan’. “This is part of [the] London Plan where commitments were made to bring absconder Nawaz Sharif to power as quid pro quo for agreeing to one appointment,” he said, in the video statement posted on his Twitter account.

The PTI chairman said, “It is now clear that despite the bail I got in all my cases, the PDM government intends to arrest me,” he added.

Claims PDM govt intends to arrest him to keep him away from leading election campaign

However, Mr Khan said that despite knowing their “malafide” intentions, he was proceeding to Islamabad and the court because he believed in the rule of law. But, he added, the “ill” intent of the government should be clear to all.

“It is also obvious now that the entire siege of Lahore was not about ensuring I appear before the court in a case, but was intended to take me away to prison so that I am unable to lead our election campaign,” he maintained.

Imran Khan, who returned to Lahore in the afternoon, through the social media tried to keep his workers and supporters informed of developments.

Rule of law

“It is now clear that, despite my having gotten bail in all my cases, the PDM govt intends to arrest me. Despite knowing their malafide intentions, I am proceeding to Islamabad & the court bec I believe in rule of law. But ill intent of this cabal of crooks shd be clear to all,” he tweeted.

“The assault on my house today was first of all a contempt of court. We had agreed that an SP with one of our people would implement a search warrant bec we knew otherwise they would plant stuff on their own, which they did. Under what law did they break the gate, pull down trees,” he wrote.

“[I] Am grateful to the masses that came when I went for my court appearance. Everyone knows ruling cabal of crooks has only one aim, to jail me any which way till elections are over. Already 96 cases on me & am sure after my appearance today I will hit my first century of court cases,” he tweeted while returning to Lahore.

Ban is illegal

“Strongly condemn govt trying, through Pemra, to muzzle our voice through an illegal ban on us, violative of court order, on TV channels. Now to pressure media further, Pemra has issued another notice accusing TV channels of violating their earlier. notice. Fascism at its worst,” he tweeted later at night.

Flaying the government, Dr Shireen Mazari said that assault on Imran Khan’s residence in Zaman Park where Bushra Bibi was alone inside the house was pure ‘state terrorism’ by a caretaker chief minister and his Gullu Butt police.

She said state terrorism had crossed all bounds. “Total law of the jungle. State will destroy Pakistan to implement London Plan to bring Pineapple Sharifs to power — a deal that is being implemented with the blood of our people,” she added.

Dr Mazari said, “Even the facade of democracy has vanished now. We are under fascist rule by a cabal of crooks.”

She stated that the police and unkn­owns beat up two of Mr Khan’s domestic staff and took away a third, the cook.

“They also took away Imran Khan’s brother-in-law. This is pure vengeance - part of the London Plan, as this is not how you implement even a search warrant,” she added.

It seemed some within the state deliberately wanted to create a widening rift between the people and the state so that Pakistan weakens and accepts subservience to external powers, she said.

Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2023

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