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Police retreat from outside Imran Khan’s Zaman Park residence due to ‘PSL match’

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LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: Contingents of police that were closing in on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s residence in Zaman Park to arrest him for the last two days have started retreating, sources on the ground said on Wednesday, halting the hostilities for a while.

“Police will not advance on Khan’s residence until the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL) 8 cricket match is over,” sources quoted police officials as saying. 

Police and other security officials were seen leaving Zaman Park. 

After the withdrawal of the police, PTI chief Imran Khan came out of his residence, in a mask, and met the workers. 

The video was shared on PTI’s Twitter account. 

Earlier today, following the police’s failure in arresting PTI Chairman Imran Khan, a large number of Punjab Rangers arrived at the former prime minister’s Zaman Park residence to implement court orders.

As per Geo News, the police and rangers reached the residence of the PTI leader at Zaman Park. The development came after police fired teargas in the area to disperse the PTI workers.

However, they withdrew and sources have said that the police retreated due to the PSL match scheduled for today.  

So far, the police have arrested at least 10 PTI workers from the area. 

On the other hand, hospital sources told Geo News that at least 54 cops and eight citizens have been injured in the clashes that have been on going since yesterday. 

PTI supporters clashed repeatedly with police overnight while he remained holed up in his Zaman Park residence, defying attempts to arrest him. Meanwhile, the law enforcers had also arrested the PTI workers.

Police fought pitched battles with supporters of Khan’s PTI near his residence throughout the night, firing fusillades of teargas and dodging rocks thrown by angry crowds.

The police action to implement court orders started on Tuesday when a heavy contingent surrounded the area, however, a charged crowd denied the law enforcers any opportunity to arrest their leader. 

Police unarmed, claims minister

Meanwhile, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said the police personnel at Zaman Park are “unarmed”, adding that the PTI chief wants civil war in the country.

“Government has no link with Imran Khan’s arrest,” said the minister.

She reminded that the PTI chief during his tenure jailed all his political opponents, adding that Imran Khan was giving an impression that the government was behind his arrest.

“Court issued an arrest warrant,” said the minister, adding that the PTI chief was using women and children as shields.

“This person is a convict and the court has summoned him,” said the minister.

Fawad files plea against police operation

PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry has filed a plea in the Lahore High Court (LHC) seeking the court’s intervention to stop the ongoing police action at Zaman Park.

The petition has been sent to Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh for a hearing.

‘Whatever is happening is a result of your actions’

Meanwhile, Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Amir Farooq has directed the PTI to address the objections raised by the Registrar Office, observing “whatever is happening in Lahore is a result of PTI’s actions”.

The PTI had approached the IHC challenging the arrest warrants on security grounds. Khan’s counsel filed the plea on Tuesday and requested the court to fix the matter before a bench for a hearing the same day.

The court office, however, objected that the petition did not have the deposed prime minister’s biometric verification.

When CJ Amir Farooq took up the plea today he asked the PTI counsel if it had addressed the objections on the petition.

At this, PTI lawyer Khawaja Haris replied that whatever is happening in Lahore is known to the court.

“Whatever is happening is a result of your actions,” responded Justice Farooq.

The IHC CJ also told the counsel that the plea was yet to be fixed and that he will hear it once it is fixed.

Justice Farooq also asked about what happened on the relief that the court had given. The court orders were not implemented we will see what result it would have, he added.

The CJ remarked that the IHC’s Registrar Office had raised minor objections to the petition. He then stated that he was removing two objections related to the biometric verification and signature of the petitioner.

“There is an objection on tickets that can be removed in half an hour,” said the IHC CJ. However, in the order, the court asked the lawyers to address the objections within three days and adjourned the hearing.

‘Real intent is to abduct and assassinate’

Taking to Twitter, the former prime minister shared a picture of the teargas shells allegedly used during the crackdown on his home. 

“Latest attack by Rangers, pitting the largest pol party against the army. This is what PDM and the enemies of Pakistan want. No lessons learnt from the East Pakistan tragedy,” said the PTI chief. 

Earlier, after the deployment of Rangers, the PTI chairman, in a series of tweets, claimed that the “real intent is to abduct and assassinate him” as the police have “now resorted to live firing”.

“My question to the Establishment, to those who claim they are ‘neutral’: Is this your idea of neutrality, Rangers directly confronting unarmed protestors and leadership of the largest political party when their leader is facing an illegal warrant and case already in court and when govt of crooks trying to abduct and possibly murder him?”

‘London plan’

Khan in a video shared on PTI’s Twitter account shortly before dawn, sitting in front of Pakistan and the party flags at a desk decorated with spent teargas canisters.

“I am telling the entire nation today that they are ready once again, they’re going to come again,” he said.

“They will teargas our people and do other such things, but you should know that they have no justification to do so.”

“The way the police attack our people… there is no precedent for this,” Khan said.

“Water canons, teargas… they shelled inside the house where there were servants and women.”

The PTI chief claimed that he was not appearing at the F-8 Katcheri as terrorists had targeted the facility twice.

“They know I did not appear because of security, now they are preparing again,” said the PTI chief.

The former prime minister also claimed that in order to “avoid anarchy”, he had signed an undertaking and his counsel Ishtiaq A Khan tried presenting the surety to the Islamabad police deputy inspector general (DIG) sent to arrest him.

“And as per code of criminal procedure’s section 76 if a surety bond is given to arresting officer then he cannot make the arrest,” said the PTI chief. 

He further claimed that after this there was no reason for the police to arrest him. However, the PTI chief alleged that the DIG refused to take the bond on purpose as his arrest was part of the “London plan”.

“In the London plan, it has been decided to put Imran Khan in jail, defeat PTI, and finish all cases of Nawaz Sharif. Putting me in jail is part of the London plan. This has no relation with the law and I have not committed any crime,” said the PTI chief.

IGP warns of tougher action

Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr Usman Anwar on Tuesday warned PTI activists of tougher action if they continued to resort to violence in their attempt to prevent the police from arresting their leader Imran Khan.

He said the violent protesters would be taken to task and apprehended with the help of CCTV footage as damaging public properties and setting police vehicles on fire came under the terrorism act and these protesters would be tried under that act.

The IGP said Islamabad police under the leadership of DIG Operations ICT Shahzad Bukhari reached Lahore to arrest former prime minister and PTI chairman Imran Khan for compliance with the non-bailable arrest warrant issued against him by additional sessions judge Zafar iqbal on Tuesday.

The Lahore police were told to accompany the Islamabad police team for compliance with the court orders, he added.

Dr Anwar said that as the police force reached the former prime minister’s house situated in Zaman Park in Lahore, the protesters started pelting stones at the forces, which injured dozens of law enforcers of the Punjab police, including the DIG operations Islamabad.

Bloodied supporters

Video circulating on social media — much distributed by official PTI accounts — showed several bloodied supporters and others struggling to cope with tear gas.

A PTI official tweeted that there was “an urgent need” for first aid kits at the Zaman Park neighbourhood.

A party account also showed video of teargas canisters landing inside Khan’s garden, but police did not appear to breach the gate or the wall.

It is the second time in recent weeks that police have been sent from Islamabad to Khan’s home in Lahore to serve an arrest warrant after he skipped several court dates citing security concerns.

“We are here basically to execute the warrants and to arrest him,” Islamabad police DIG Syed Shahzad Nadeem Bukhari told reporters Tuesday outside Khan’s residence.

Officers were met by hundreds of Khan supporters, some wielding sticks and hurling stones, draped in the red-and-green PTI flags.

Police fired a water cannon and tear gas on the crowds as they attempted to clear a path to Khan’s house, holding signs plastered with the arrest warrant for the 70-year-old opposition leader.

Pakistan

Maryam Nawaz honours ASP Shehr Bano For His Extraordinary Courage

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Maryam Nawaz, the PML-N’s nominee for chief minister of Punjab, honours young police officer Shehr Bano for displaying extraordinary bravery, insight, and courage.

According to Maryam Nawaz, if the female police officer hadn’t arrived in time, a catastrophe may have happened.

The country is proud of you, she said as she praised Shehr Bano.

According to Maryam Nawaz, Shehr Bano maintained humanity and the law in the face of pressure, numbers, and circumstances.

She stated that it is required of every police officer to contribute to the defence of individuals’ lives and property.

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Pakistan

The BISP WhatsApp channel has been launched.

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In order to assist both its recipients and regular residents, the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) has opened a WhatsApp channel where it posts information about all of its programmes and dispels false statements.

To acquire all the information about the scheme, the BISP advised current and potential beneficiaries to follow the official WhatsApp channel.

The following web URL allows individuals to follow the BISP WhatsApp channel.

The channel number on WhatsApp is 0029VaL06DJ9Bb602I388U2l.

Earlier, the National Telecommunication Corporation and the BISP established a state-of-the-art call centre to offer genuine information about the plan and the issues.

The individuals can contact the call centre at 080026477 to register complaints or seek information about the programme.

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Pakistan

Bushra Bibi challenges the Nikah case’s verdict in court.

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According to specifics, Bushra Bibi’s attorney, Khalid Yousaf Chaudhry, entered a plea on her behalf, requesting that the trial court’s decision from February 3 be deemed invalid.

Salman Akram Raja, Salman Safdar, and other individuals will also be parties in this action, while Bushra Bibi’s ex-husband Khawar Maneka and the federal government have been named respondents in the plea.

According to the plea, the former first lady went to her mother’s house in August 2017 after divorcing in April.

Furthermore, the ruling is unlawful, immoral, and un-Islamic because the matter pertaining to Bushra Bibi and Khan’s nikah was outside the court’s jurisdiction.

In a case concerning their marriage during the latter’s Iddat era, a court in Islamabad earlier this year condemned former prime minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi to seven years in prison apiece.

The decision on the lawsuit submitted by Bushra’s ex-husband Khawar Maneka in a temporary court at Adiala jail was announced by senior civil judge Qudratullah. The pair was also fined Rs 500,000 apiece by the court.

Bushra Bibi and Imran Khan’s marriage
In February 2018, the former prime minister married Bushra Bibi in Lahore.

Only the bride’s mother and other close relatives and friends were present for the ceremony. The sisters of the PTI founder, however, were not present.

Former SAPM Zulfi Bukhari and Awn Chaudhary, leaders of the Pakitan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), were present when Mufti Saeed conducted the nikah.

Bibi’s ex-husband Khawar Maneka had petitioned the court last year, arguing that the marriage was unlawful and in violation of Sharia law.

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