Imran Khan evaded police, saying he fears for his life amid alleged death threats and a lack of security at previous court hearings.
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan evaded police as authorities tried to arrest him and bring him before a judge. The politician was removed from office in a no-confidence vote last April and is accused of illegally selling gifts from foreign dignitaries during his reign. The 70-year-old has described the charges as absurd and politically motivated, and maintains that his removal from power was actually a coup d’état.
On Sunday, the Islamabad police issued a series of tweets, announcing that they had sent a team of officers to arrest Khan at his residence in Lahore. Officials warned that action would be taken against anyone trying to obstruct the process.
In subsequent messages, authorities claimed the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party was “avoiding” arrest. Police had “went to Imran’s room but he was not present,” the tweets said. Shibli Faraz, who serves as Khan’s chief of staff, told officials that his boss was “not available” at the time but would comply with the legal process.
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The police eventually called off their “operation” and returned to the Pakistani capital
Later in the day, Khan addressed his supporters, saying he refused to comply with authorities’ demands because he feared for his life amid alleged death threats. According to the former prime minister, the last time he appeared in the Islamabad court, “I was not provided with any security”.
Khan survived an assassination attempt in November last year.
The politician is at the center of several court cases, which he describes as revenge against his political opponents.
Last week, an anti-corruption court issued arrest warrants after Khan ignored several summonses.
Since his impeachment, he has led a massive protest campaign, demanding early elections in Pakistan.