Pakistan ex-PM Khan defies arrest as supporters clash with police

Pakistan ex-PM Khan defies arrest as supporters clash with police

LAHORE: Supporters of former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan clashed repeatedly with police overnight as he remained holed up in his Lahore residence early Wednesday (Mar 15), defying attempts to arrest him.

Khan was ousted from office by a no-confidence vote last year, and has been snarled in a series of legal cases as he campaigns for early elections and a return to office.

Police fought pitched battles with supporters of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party near his Zaman Park residence throughout the night, firing fusillades of teargas and dodging rocks thrown by angry crowds.

Khan issued a video shortly before dawn, sitting in front of Pakistan and PTI flags at a desk decorated with spent teargas canisters.

“I am telling the entire nation today that they are ready once again, they’re going to come again,” he said.

“They will teargas our people and do other such things, but you should know that they have no justification to do so.”

Video circulating on social media – much distributed by official PTI accounts – showed several bloodied supporters and others struggling to cope with tear gas.

A PTI official tweeted that there was “an urgent need” for first aid kits in the Zaman Park neighbourhood.

A party account also showed video of teargas canisters landing inside Khan’s garden, but police did not appear to breach the gate or the wall.