Imran khan makes his way to Islamabad Court.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday said the incumbent government intended to arrest him as he made his way to a district and sessions court in Islamabad to appear before the judge in the Toshakhana (gift depository) case.
Due to security concerns raised by the former premier, the hearing was moved to the G-11 Court Complex rather than the F-8 Katcheri. The hearing will be presided over by Judge Zafar Iqbal.
Imran will appear in court for the first time after being summoned seven times. The Islamabad High Court has suspended the non-bailable arrest warrants issued for the PTI chairman until today, providing him the opportunity to appear before the sessions court voluntarily.
Also Read: Imran khan reaches Lahore High Court seeks protective bail.
Making a special statement while en route to Islamabad, the PTI chairman claimed he “knows that he will be detained but is still making his way to the court because he ‘believes rule of law'”.
“I want to inform you all that these people [the government] have planned a plot to arrest me,” he added, adding that he was prepared to appear before the Islamabad court as well.
چیئرمین عمران خان کا خصوصی بیان۔
— PTI (@PTIofficial) March 18, 2023
“The Zaman park operation was not done to make me appear before the court, it was done to put me in jail…because it is part of the London plan to put me in jail,” he added.
He stated that this is the “demand” of the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif in order to prevent him from taking part in the upcoming elections.
The former premier reiterated that he knows that he will be arrested, adding that he believes in rule of law.
It is also obvious now that the entire siege of Lahore was not about ensuring I appear before the court in a case but was intended to take me away to prison so that I am unable to lead our election campaign.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) March 18, 2023
It is now clear that, despite my having gotten bail in all my cases, the PDM govt intends to arrest me. Despite knowing their malafide intentions, I am proceeding to Islamabad & the court bec I believe in rule of law. But ill intent of this cabal of crooks shd be clear to all.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) March 18, 2023
Meanwhile, PTI senior leader Fawad Chaudhry has asked that Islamabad authorities open the capital’s internal roads.
اسلام آباد کے اندرونی راستے فوری طور پر کھولے جائیں، ملک میں آئین اور قانون کی کوئ گنجائش رہنے دیں، عدالتی راست کو غزہ بنا دیا گیا ہے، اسلام آباد ہائیکورٹ میں فوری رٹ فائل کر رہے ہیں انتظامی انتظامات کے نام پر پولیس کی دہشت گردی قبول نہیں
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) March 18, 2023
“The internal roads of Islamabad should be opened immediately, let the Constitution and law remain in the country,” he said in a tweet.
The former interior minister added that the party is filing an urgent writ in the IHC, adding that “police terrorism is not acceptable in the name of administrative arrangements”.
PTI senior leader Asad Umar also criticised the capital administration for “blocking roads”.
“Roads to court are blocked from all sides. Those whose names are on the court list are also not allowed to pass. It seems that famous terrorists are coming,” he said.
چاروں طرف سے عدالت کے راستے بند کئے ہوئے ہیں۔ جن کے نام عدالتی فہرست میں ہیں ان کو بھی جانے نہیں دیا جا رہا۔ لگتا ہے دنیا کے نامی گرامی دہشت گرد آنے والے ہیں
— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) March 18, 2023
Meanwhile, a spokesperson of the capital police said that all routes in the city are open, adding that special security measures have been implemented around the judicial complex.
Babar Awan files written application
The PTI chairman’s lawyer, Babar Awan, filed a written application in the court against the barring of party lawyers, officials and media from entering the judicial complex.
“The entire area has been cordoned off in the name of security by the police and administration,” Awan stated in the application.
The PTI counsel added that despite clear orders from the honourable high court, the situation is very serious and alarming.
“There is no legal justification for banning the entry of lawyers and media in the open court,” furthered Awan.
He requested the court to take notice of the “poor and unjustifiable policy of the administration” and issue orders for the entry of important persons including lawyers and media into the court.
Heavy police presence on M-2
A large police contingent is present on the Lahore – Islamabad M-2 motorway near the Islamabad toll plaza.
Rawalpindi Police personnel, led by CPO Khalid Hamdani and SP Potohar, are deployed and equipped with riot gear and tear gas. It was also reported that a large number of PTI workers have started reaching the Islamabad Motorway Toll Plaza.
The toll plaza was partially sealed by authorities and traffic has been channeled into two lanes. According to reports, only Imran’s vehicle and his security will be allowed to proceed and the rest of his convoy will be diverted to the wrong side from Chakri Interchange.
Authorities made strict security arrangements for the ousted premier’s appearance in court, with the judicial complex fortified with containers on its perimeter and all traffic barred from entering the area.
According to reports, around 4,000 personnel and officers of the Islamabad Capital Police, FC and the Punjab Police are deployed on security duty for the duration of the case’s hearing at the judicial complex.
Law enforcers are also deployed on the routes leading to the judicial complex.