‘If I go to jail or they kill me’…, Imran Khan’s video message ahead of his imminent arrest 

Pakistani police and supporters of Imran Khan fought pitched battles on Tuesday outside the former prime minister’s home in the eastern city of Lahore, injuring several on both side, ahead of his possible arrest.

Police fired tear gas and used water cannons to disperse supporters, who gathered outside Pakistan’s ousted prime minister’s residence to prevent his arrest in the Toshakhana case. According to sources, Punjab police provided full support to Islamabad forces to arrest Khan.

At the time of filing of the report, Khan posted a video message calling on his backers to continue to challenge the ruling party of prime minister Shehbaz Sharif even if he were to be jailed. “The police have arrived to arrest me. They think that if Imran Khan goes to jail, the people will go to sleep. You have to prove them wrong, you have to prove that the qaum (people) is alive.”

In another post, Khan tweeted: “[If] something happens to me, if they send me to jail, or if I am killed, you have to show you can fight without me as well.”

According to Al Jazeera, Syed Shehzad Nadeem Bukhari, a senior officer in the Islamabad Police, they intended to arrest Khan. “We are here to fulfil the warrant and to arrest Imran Khan,” he said.

Khan said, “You have to fight for your rights, you have to hit the streets. God has given Imran Khan everything. I am fighting your battle. I have fought all my life and will continue to do so. But if something happens to me, they put me in jail or kill me, you have to prove that you can fight even without Imran Khan. You have to prove that you will never accept this slavery and this rule by one man. Pakistan zindabad.”

Government spokesman Amir Mir told Reuters that Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers started the violence. Mir added: “If Imran Khan ensures his presence in the court, it will be good, otherwise the law will take its course.” Mir said the government has called out paramilitary forces to control the situation.

The PTI posted a video that show the aftermath of tear gas launched by police inside Khan’s residence. “Has democracy been suspended in the country,” read a tweet from the party’s account.

-INDIA NEWS STREAM

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