PTI says Zaman Park raid conducted at Maryam’s behest

Published March 19, 2023
R Uzma Khanum, sister of PTI Chairman Imran Khan, tells the media outside his Zaman Park residence that ‘blood-thirsty’ police officers conducted the operation without warrants, harassed women and tortured servants.—M. Arif / White Star
R Uzma Khanum, sister of PTI Chairman Imran Khan, tells the media outside his Zaman Park residence that ‘blood-thirsty’ police officers conducted the operation without warrants, harassed women and tortured servants.—M. Arif / White Star

• Fawad terms operation ‘violation’ of court order, asks workers to prepare for final showdown
• Imran’s sister claims her husband was abducted during the operation

LAHORE: The PTI lead­ership has strongly condemned the “state terrorism” launched at the residence of party chairman Imran Khan which they said was “part of a London Plan to eliminate him”.

As Mr Khan left his Za­­man Park residence in La­­hore on Saturday to appear before a judge in Islam­abad, a heavy contingent of police launched a search operation at his house.

Addressing a press conference at the party’s of­­fi­­ce, PTI leader Fawad Cha­udhry said the operation was part of the agenda set by PML-N chief organiser Maryam Nawaz and aimed at arresting Mr Khan.

“A woman, who has never even contested a councillor’s election is setting the government’s agenda,” he said while referring to Ms Sharif’s Friday presser where she asserted that Mr Khan should be arrested.

He claimed the operation was in violation of the court orders and created an environment of anarchy across the country as PTI workers were pressuring the leadership to announce country-wide protests.

The PTI leader asked party workers to be ready for the final showdown and await Mr Khan’s instructions to launch the protests. Mr Chaudhry added that party leaders were going to Islamabad with Mr Khan but returned mid-way after the news of the “cowardly attack”.

The whole nation was suffering due to unprecedented inflation but the government’s only objective was to arrest the PTI chairman, he added.

Mr Chaudhry said the residence’s gates were razed with the help of excavators, while police officials scaled walls and tortured people inside the house. He said the operation was in sheer violation of the Lahore High Court’s orders as the police did not inform the court’s nominated focal person Imran Kishwar before the raid.

“I informed Punjab advocate general Security DIG, who acknowledged and stated that the message would be conveyed to the IG Police. Still, the operation was executed,” he lamented.

On Friday, the Lahore High Court allowed a request by the Punjab police chief to search Mr Khan’s Zaman Park residence for an investigation into attacks on police teams when they went to execute warrants issued by an Islamabad court for the PTI chief’s arrest.

No search warrant

In a video message, Mr Khan’s sister, Dr Uzma Khanum, claimed the police conducted the operation without warrants.

Stating that the policemen harassed women and tortured servants, Dr Kha­num said the policemen “seemed blood-thirsty” as they brutally thrashed un­­a­rmed people in the house.

She alleged that the pol­ice also abducted her hus­­­band and some servants.

PTI President Chaudhry Parvez Elahi also visited Zaman Park after the raid and called the action “brutality and violence”.

Calling Ms Sharif and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah fascists, Mr Elahi said the police didn’t even respect the sanctity of women in the house.

He said the use of shelling and rubber bullets on workers and employees was condemnable.

Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2023

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