Islamabad police, not Lahore, was ordered to arrest Imran

Published August 6, 2023
Police leave after arresting former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan (not pictured) at his house in Lahore on August 5. — AFP
Police leave after arresting former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan (not pictured) at his house in Lahore on August 5. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: The additional district and sessions judge (ADSJ), Humayun Dilawar, had ordered the capital police chief to arrest Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan after convicting him in the Toshakhana case, but instead he was arrested by the Punjab police, who later brought him from Lahore amid tight security.

Besides, the court had also ordered the Adiala jail superintendent to receive Imran Khan but instead he was taken to Attock jail.

The court order issued for the inspector general of police (IGP) Islamabad said: “This is to authorise and require you the I.G. Islamabad Police to arrest the convict Imran Khan Niazi son of Ikramullah Khan and to send him to Central Prison Adyala, Rawalpindi, for serving out the stated sentences.”

Another order issued for the Adiala jail superintendent said: “This is to authorise and require you the said superintendent to receive the said convict Imran Khan Niazi into your custody in the said jail, together with this warrant for serving out the stated sentences.”

However, he was neither arrested by the capital police nor detained at Adiala jail.

Sources in Punjab police told Dawn that the Lahore police were alerted before noon and an order was given to them to arrest the former prime minister shortly after the additional district and sessions court West Islamabad announced the verdict in connection with the Toshakhana case.

Therefore, a team of Lahore police constituted under the supervision of a senior police officer was put on standby, which then reached Zaman Park shortly after the verdict was announced, the sources added.

During a brief conversation with Imran Khan before he was taken into custody, the PTI chief was assured that he would not be manhandled nor would anyone misbehave with him, the sources said, adding that he was then taken away from his house in the vehicle of a senior officer.

At one point, the team which had arrested Imran Khan handed him over to DIG Operations and SSP Operations Lahore, and the two officers then moved with him in a motorcade towards Islamabad via the motorway, they said.

Sources in the capital police said the motorcade of Lahore police reached Islamabad toll plaza in the evening where SSP Operations Malik Jamil Zafar along with his squad of well-equipped police team took Mr Khan into custody.

SSP Zafar then took him to Attock amid tight security, the sources said, adding that instead to taking him to a state-run hospital for medical examination before shifting him to prison as ordered by the court, he was transported to Attock jail and handed over to the prison’s superintendent.

Published in Dawn, Aug 6th, 2023

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