Imran Khan greets supporters after police leave the area around the ex-prime minister’s home.

Imran Khan, Pakistan’s main opposition leader, has greeted supporters outside his home, hours after police attempted to arrest him.

He addressed the crowd and posed for photos with those gathered near his Lahore compound.

He can be seen wearing a gas mask in one video. Throughout the night, police fired tear gas shells at protesters.

According to one official, the arrest operation has been halted.

The court-ordered operation to detain Mr Khan was suspended on Wednesday to allow a nearby cricket tournament to take place, according to Punjab Interim Information Minister Amir Mir, because the stand-off was causing major traffic disruption.

He stated that the operation would most likely continue after the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final on March 19.

Following a gunman attack on the Sri Lanka team in 2009, Pakistan banned international cricket for six years. International players took years to return, and the ongoing tournament requires a large security operation.

“We can’t afford to jeopardize the PSL’s security and safety,” a senior police official told Reuters.

Later that day, the Lahore High Court ordered police to postpone Mr Khan’s arrest until Thursday, pending the outcome of a hearing on the validity of the arrest warrant.

Officers and paramilitary rangers were spotted leaving the Zaman Park neighborhood, where the house is located, with some reportedly abandoning roadblocks and checkpoints.

Mr Khan then emerged from the building and addressed his supporters. “The people pushed back the police and rangers sent to harm Imran Khan,” his PTI party’s Twitter account said.

The 70-year-old, who was deposed as Prime Minister in April, is accused of selling state gifts while in office. According to him, the case is politically motivated.
The streets outside Mr Khan’s house were littered with debris and smoldering barricades on Wednesday.

His supporters gathered along a major highway in Lahore and chanted his name.

Officers in riot gear had fired tear gas and water cannon hours earlier in an attempt to disperse hundreds of supporters at the compound. Some people in the crowd hurled stones and bricks.

Police then attempted to force their way into the compound in order to arrest Mr Khan for failing to appear in court in Islamabad.

“I have never witnessed such brutality, that is what shocks me,” PTI supporter Waqar Khan told the BBC.

Tazeen, a woman who witnessed the clashes on Tuesday, said: “Aren’t we all humans? What kind of nation is this? People around me were struggling to breathe “Tazeen, one woman, stated.

Mr Khan stated that he did not appear in court due to security concerns following two previous militant attacks there. The politician has offered to sign a promise to appear in court on Saturday.

He previously told the BBC that there was “no reason” for police to arrest him because he had been granted protective bail until Saturday. He also stated that the government was determined to imprison him despite previous failures.

He claimed that authorities were attempting to arrest him in order to prevent his party from participating in upcoming elections. “Whether I’m in jail or not, they won’t be able to stop my party from winning,” he added.

Imran Khan’s high-risk election wager
Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Marriyum Aurangzeb, said the move had nothing to do with elections and that police were simply following court orders.

She claimed that Mr Khan was evading arrest by using his party workers, women, and children as human shields.

Mr Khan has been a vocal critic of the government and the country’s army since his ouster. He has toured the country, delivering fiery speeches calling for early elections scheduled for later this year.

With protests, he has maintained pressure on his successor, Shehbaz Sharif, and blames him for an assassination attempt in November in which he was wounded in the leg.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *