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Imran Khan and Lahore Police remain in a tense stalemate | Imran Khan

Imran Khan and police have been locked in a tense standoff in Lahore, with the former Pakistani prime minister locked in his residence saying he was about to be arrested and officers barricading surrounding roads and accusing him of harbor “terrorists”.

Since Khan was released from police custody on Friday after his arrest in a corruption case was ruled illegal, he has repeatedly expressed fear of being re-arrested and has only left his residence only once, to appear in court with his wife on Monday.

On Thursday, Khan had been summoned to appear before the National Accountability Bureau, the corruption agency that was behind his arrest, but sent a written response instead.

Khan spent the week at home delivering critical speeches and sending an increasing number of agitated tweets against senior military officials and the ruling coalition government.

As Khan prepared to broadcast an address to his followers on YouTube from his residence on Wednesday evening, a large contingent of Punjabi police gathered around his home and Khan alleged he was about to be arrested .

Local Punjab officials, citing intelligence reports, had claimed Khan was protecting “30 to 40 terrorists” who had been involved in the violent protests that erupted last week and were hiding them in his home.

They gave Khan 24 hours to abandon the suspected terrorists or a raid would be carried out. But as of Thursday afternoon no police had entered his home and Punjabi government officials said there were no plans to carry out a raid at this time, although police barricades remained on the roads around his residence.

In his address, Khan denied the presence of “terrorists” in his home and told police to come with a search warrant to check for themselves.

He continued to denounce the measures taken against members of his Pakistani party Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), alleging that more than 7,000 members had been arrested in recent days in a “reign of terror” against his party by the State. Several senior PTI officials were immediately re-arrested on Wednesday after being released on bail and taken to unknown locations by police.

“I fear today that Pakistan is on the path to destruction,” he said in his speech.

Khan also commented on his increasingly critical rhetoric against Pakistan’s military establishment. “I criticize my army the same way I criticize my children, which is for reform,” Khan said.

Chief of the Armed Forces, General Asim Munir, who has come under some of Khan’s harshest criticism, launched a thinly veiled attack on Khan in response, expressing “concern over the orchestrated propaganda war from the outside and facilitated internally, unleashed against the leadership of the army”.

theguardian Gt

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