Pakistan’s ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan has vowed to take legal action against security officials involved in the raid on his Zaman Park residence here and the brutal beating of his party staff during the search operation.
As Mr Khan attended court in Islamabad on Saturday, more than 10,000 heavily armed Punjabi police officers launched a massive operation at his Zaman Park residence, arresting dozens of his supporters. Police claimed to have confiscated weapons and Molotov cocktails at Khan’s home.
Supporters of Mr Khan managed to take control of Mr Khan’s residence late on Saturday night when the Pakistan Justice Movement chairman returned from Islamabad after attending a hearing in the Toshakhana case.
Punjab police used heavy machinery to break into Mr Khan’s residence. Mr Khan’s wife, Bushra Bibi, was also present during the police raid.
The 70-year-old former prime minister said he would take legal action against violations of the veil and the sanctity of the home.
“The attack on my home today was first and foremost a contempt of court,” he said, adding that police searched his home without a warrant.
He claimed in a series of tweets: “We have agreed with SP to execute a search warrant with one of ours because we knew otherwise they would have grown their own stuff, which they did.”
Mr Khan questioned the authorities what the law was for them to break down gates, cut down trees and break into homes. To make matters worse, police raided his house after he left to appear in an Islamabad court, he said.
“Bushra bibi, a completely private apolitical person, was alone in the house. This is totally against the sacred principles of islamic chadar and char diwari [veil and walls]’ said Mr Khan.
He said contempt of court, violation of the sanctity of the family and violence against his workers and domestic staff would be brought up in court.
Meanwhile, Lahore police charged Mr Khan and more than 1,000 PTI workers with terrorism in two cases on Sunday. The number of cases against Khan has climbed to 97.
Police said they recovered rifles, Kalashnikovs, bullets, marbles and petrol bombs from his house during the search operation.
Police also demolished all spaces that had been encroaching on Zaman Park over the past few months and destroyed “bunkers” built to attack law enforcement agencies.
Senior PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry told reporters on Sunday that Mr Khan and the party will take the case to court against the police raid on Mr Khan’s residence. “The police violated the sanctity of the Khan family,” he said.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Rana Sanuallah said the government would consult its legal team to assess whether the process to ban Khan’s party could be initiated.
“The terrorists are hiding in Zaman Park. Weapons, petrol bombs, etc. have been recovered from Imran Khan’s residence, which is enough to prove that PTI is a terrorist organization,” Sanaullah said.
Regarding the government’s plan to start the process of declaring PTI a banned institution, the minister said: “The declaration of any party banned is primarily a judicial process. However, we will consult our legal team on the matter.” Prime Minister Sheikh Baz Sharif seemed to agree with him. Mr Khan’s party is a “terrorist organization”, according to his niece PMN-L senior vice-president Mariam Nawaz.
“If anyone has any doubts, the antics of Pakistan’s Justice Movement Chairman Imran Nyazi in recent days have exposed his fascist and terrorist tendencies,” Sharif said, adding that Khan had “taken a page from the RSS book”. Page”.
On Sunday, police held more than 100 PTI militants arrested in Saturday’s operation for a day of physical detention.
As Punjab police have fully withdrawn security for the PTI chief, his party’s ruling Gilgit-Baltistan province is providing him with security.
Last October, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) disqualified the cricketer-turned-politician for failing to disclose details of the sale. The top electoral body later filed a complaint with a district court seeking to punish him under the penal code for selling gifts he received as the country’s prime minister.
Mr Khan was ousted last April after losing a no-confidence vote, becoming the first Pakistani prime minister to be ousted by a National Assembly vote.
(Aside from the title, this story is unedited by NDTV staff and published via a syndicated feed.)