The Daily Telegraph
Police raid Imran Khan’s home but fail to arrest him
IMRAN KHAN’S house was yesterday swarmed by police in a failed attempt to arrest the former prime minister of Pakistan.
Officers from the capital, Islamabad, arrived at his home in the eastern city of Lahore but were unable to find him.
Mr Khan, ousted in April in a no-confidence vote after four years in power, is facing charges of corruption and failing to declare gifts received while in office or the profit made from selling them.
He has denied the allegations and dismissed a ruling by the top election tribunal to bar him from office as “biased”.
“A team of Islamabad police has arrived to arrest Imran Khan to comply with the court orders,” Islamabad police said. “Imran Khan is reluctant to surrender. The Superintendent of Police had gone into the room but Imran Khan was not present there.”
Mr Khan remains highly popular, and has held mass rallies pushing for early elections. Hundreds of his supporters arrived at his home to defend him as the police moved in. “Imran Khan is our red line. We won’t allow you to arrest him,” they shouted at the police.
Mr Khan later spoke to party workers in the house, while police remained outside. “I am being summoned in fake cases and the nation should know about them,” he said. “It will be a bad omen for the country if the nation does not stand against the corrupt rulers.”
The former international cricketer is recovering from a gunshot wound to the leg after an assassination attempt in November. He was speaking at an antigovernment protest in the eastern city of Wazirabad when shots were fired, with one striking his shin.
He was barred from public office after the tribunal found him guilty of unlawfully selling gifts. It is alleged he skipped a hearing several times.
Fawad Chaudhry, senior leader of Khan’s Tehreek Insaaf party, said: “There are 74 cases against Imran. It is humanly not possible for any person to appear in court in all these cases.”
“The Government wants Imran to go to court so terrorists can target him again and postpone the upcoming [provincial assembly] elections in Punjab,” he said.