Islamabad (Web Desk): Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers clashed with police outside Islamabad G-11 Judicial Complex ahead of former premier Imran Khan's appearance before a district and sessions court in the Toshakhana case.
As per reports, The PTI chief's vehicle was stopped merely 100 metres from the gate of the judicial complex as the police blamed party workers for blocking the route while the PTI claimed the law enforcers were restricting Imran's movement.
The venue of the hearing was changed to the G-11 Judicial Complex instead of the F-8 Katcheri due to security concerns raised by the former premier.
Khan scheduled to appear before the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Zafar Iqbal to attend proceedings on a complaint filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for allegedly concealing details of gifts in his assets declarations.
The former premier who left his Lahore residence a little after 8am and had warned in a video message that he was expecting an attempt to arrest him, had yet to reach the court, though the Islamabad Police tweeted that Imran’s convoy was right in front of the Judicial Complex.
In a post on Twitter, Islamabad police wrote that workers are requested to clear the way so that Imran Khan can reach the court.
It also claimed that political activists had “started pelting stones at the police” and “shelling” was also being carried out by them. A police picket was also allegedly set on fire.
In another tweet, the Islamabad police shared images of the purported shelling.
— Islamabad Police (@ICT_Police) March 18, 2023
The PTI workers also heavily damaged three police mobiles and targeted law enforcers through slingshots, which forced police to fire teargas.
Earlier, As the court hearing began without the PTI chairman, Judge Zafar Iqbal said that no one should be under the impression that the matter has been put to rest if the time had passed by 3:30 pm.
“I am here if someone wants to appear before the court,” he said. At this, Imran’s counsel Advocate Khawaja Harris contended that the PTI chief was being stopped by security on his way to court.
“Shelling is being done,” he said. The judge replied by saying that he was ready to wait.
The election commission lawyer Amjad Parvez informed the court that he did not know what was going on outside the court.
“Has security actually stopped Imran outside or has he stopped there himself,” he said. “They know court hours began at 8:30 am in the morning”.
Earlier in the morning, the Punjab police on Saturday launched operation at Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former premier Imran Khan's Zaman Park residence after he left to appear before a local court in Islamabad in the Toshakhana case.
Television footage showed police entering the house after bulldozing the main gate and taking a number of PTI workers into their custody.
“Section 144 is imposed, you are kindly advised to disperse,” police said in an announcement before barging into Imran Khan's residence.
The law enforcers also claimed that in retaliation to their operation, they faced straight firing and petrol bombs from inside Imran Khan's residence.
A heavy contingent of the police was deployed in the area after an agreement was reached between the administration and the PTI on Friday regarding the search in Zaman Park.
An anti-terror court granted permission to conduct the search inside Imran Khan's residence.
"Search warrant is issued as per Section 47 Cr.P.C. and Incharge Investigation/Investigating Officer is directed to accompany a lady police officer not below the rank of Inspector at the time of search of a requisite house in accordance with the law."
According to police, material used to produce Molotov cocktails was recovered during the search operation.
It is worth noting that on Friday, the Lahore High Court granted a request made by Punjab IGP Dr Usman Anwar to search Imran’s Zaman Park residence as part of an investigation into attacks on police teams.
In a post on Twitter, Imran Khan wrote, “Meanwhile Punjab police have led an assault on my house in Zaman Park where Bushra Begum is alone,” he said in a tweet.