Pakistani police enter Imran Khan’s home as he is due to appear in court, party says | Imran Khan

Pakistani police have entered the property of former prime minister Imran Khan in Lahore, his political party officials said, as he was due to appear in court in the capital Islamabad on Saturday.

The move follows days of clashes and clashes between police and their supporters around the property, where police had tried to arrest Khan on Tuesday.

Khan was due to answer in Islamabad court on charges of illegally selling state gifts given to him by foreign dignitaries during his tenure.

Hours earlier at his home in Lahore, the former cricketer told Reuters he had formed a committee to lead his party if he was arrested.

He led nationwide protests after he was ousted from power last year and a series of cases have been filed against him.

Khan, who was shot while campaigning in November, said in an interview that the threat to his life was greater than before and added – without providing evidence – that his political opponents and the army want to prevent him from standing for election later this year. .

The military and government did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Security was tight around the court complex where Khan, 70, was heading in a motorcade surrounded by supporters.

The court had previously issued warrants for Khan’s arrest in the case because he had failed to appear for previous hearings despite being summoned.

On his assurance that he would appear on Saturday, the court granted Khan protection from arrest, but he said he feared police and the government were considering taking him into custody.

“It is now clear that, although I have been released on bail in all my cases, the [Pakistan Democratic Movement coalition] the government intends to arrest me. Although knowing their dishonest intentions, I go to Islamabad and to the court [because] I believe in the rule of law,” Khan tweeted.

“It is also evident now that the whole siege of Lahore was not intended to ensure that I appeared in court in any case, but was intended to take me to jail so that I would be unable to carry out our election campaign. “

Pakistan’s information minister said this week that the government had nothing to do with the police action and that the police were complying with court orders.

The case to be heard on Saturday relates to accusations that Khan sold luxury watches and other items donated to the state during his 2018-22 tenure as prime minister.

Fresh clashes were reported between police and supporters of Khan and his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), in Lahore.

Punjab Information Minister Amir Mir told Reuters that police had arrived outside Khan’s house to collect evidence of attacks on police and people wanted in various cases.

“When the police arrived, the PTI activists tried to arrest them by throwing stones and attacking them with truncheons. In retaliation, the police arrested several of them. The police had already informed the PTI leadership about the evidence collection process,” Mir said.

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