Pak police continue shelling despite hours long stand off with PTI workers

[A riot police officer helps his injured colleague while others shield themselves from stones thrown by supporters of former Prime Ministry Imran Khan during clashes outside Khan's residence, in Lahore, Pakistan, Tuesday, March 14, 2023. Pakistani police scuffled with supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan as officers arrived outside his home to arrest him for failing to appear in court on graft charges, police and officials said. /PTI] Lahore, March 14 : Law enforcers and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers clashed on Tuesday as a heavy contingent of police reached Zaman Park in Lahore to arrest former Prime Minister Imran Khan in the Toshakana case - the only case in which his arrest warrants are not suspended, a media outlet reported. In response, PTI workers have staged protests across major cities - including Karachi, Faisalabad, Sargodha, Vehari, Peshawar, Quetta, and Mianwali, Geo News reported. A team of Islamabad police has been in Lahore since Monday to comply with the court orders to arrest the PTI chairman - who faces a number of cases in different cities. The riot police, although observing restraint, are using water canons and firing teargas to disperse the party's workers as they move ahead in their quest to arrest Khan, the media outlet reported. As the party's workers resorted to stone-pelting, 14 policemen - including DIG Operations Islamabad Shahzad Bukhari - sustained injuries. Meanwhile, the law enforcers have also arrested the PTI workers. PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday called on his supporters to "come out" as party workers and police officials clashed outside his Zaman Park residence in Lahore, Dawn reported. In a video message on Twitter, Imran Khan said that police had arrived to arrest him. "They think that after I am arrested, the nation will fall asleep. You have to prove them wrong." "If something happens to me and I am sent to jail or if I am killed, you have to prove that you will struggle without Imran Khan and not accept the slavery of these thieves and of the one person who has been making decisions for the country," he was quoted by Dawn as saying. PTI's Fawad Chaudhry also asked PTI supporters to gather in the streets in a peaceful protest in a show of solidarity with Imran. Armoured police vehicles had arrived outside Zaman Park with the intention of arresting Imran but a senior Islamabad police official, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) (Operations) Shahzad Bukhari, had refrained from commenting on the case in which officials were acting against the PTI chairman. However, almost an hour later, police used a water cannon and tear gas against PTI supporters that had gathered outside Zaman Park in droves. Footage broadcast on television showed police slowly inching toward the residence behind an armoured vehicle that was dispersing PTI supporters with a water cannon. Supporters could also be seen pelting stones at the policemen. Footage also showed PTI supporters being teargassed as police arrived close to the main gate of Zaman Park. The workers, who had covered their faces with pieces of cloth and were carrying bottles of water, continued to pelt stones at officials. /IANS


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