Imran Khan vows to take legal action against 'every single officer' involved in raid on his Lahore residence

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Lahore, Mar 19 (PTI) Pakistan's ousted prime minister Imran Khan on Sunday vowed to take legal action against “every single officer” involved in a raid on his Zaman Park residence here and brutal beating of his party workers during the search operation.

While Khan was in Islamabad to mark his presence at a court on Saturday, over 10,000 armed Punjab police personnel launched a major operation at his Zaman Park residence and arrested dozens of his supporters. Police claimed to have seized weapons and petrol bombs from Khan's house.

Khan’s supporters managed to take control of his residence late Saturday night when the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman returned from Islamabad after attending the hearing in the Toshakhana case.

Addressing the nation, Khan on Sunday said he would take legal action against Punjab police, including “every single officer” who participated in the “attack” on his residence.

Heavy machinery was used by the Punjab police to break into Khan's residence. Khan's wife - Bushra Bibi - was present in the house during the police raid.

“I want to ask everyone, police, army officers, the judges of this country and the people (about) the respect of chadar & char diwari (veil and walls) in Islam,” the 70-year-old former prime minister said while talking about the raid on his house.

Khan said he wanted to address the nation last night but could not as he was angry. “And a person should not talk when he is angry.” He accused the Punjab IG of violating the orders of the Lahore High Court (LHC), saying he had referred to an anti-terrorism court for obtaining a search warrant even when a high court judge had already laid out the procedure for conducting a search at his house.

He said that his party would initiate contempt proceedings in the court and also take legal action against Punjab’s caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi.

Later, Senior PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said that the party had sent a letter to the Punjab chief secretary requesting a case be registered against PML-N chief organiser Maryam Nawaz, Naqvi, Punjab Inspector General of Police Dr Usman Anwar, Lahore Capital City Police Officer Bilal Siddique Kamyana and 18 other police officers for the “attack and robbery at Zaman Park”.

Chaudhry said the PTI had requested a judicial commission as well on the Zaman Park operations and the death of party worker Ali Bilal.

Khan earlier questioned the authorities under which law they broke the gate, pull down trees and barged into the house. He said much worse, police raided his house after he left to present himself before the Islamabad court.

"Bushra bibi, a totally private non-political person, was alone in the house. This is a total violation of the Islamic principle of sanctity of chadar & char diwari [veil and walls],” Khan said in a series of tweets.

He said that the contempt issue, violation of the sanctity of the home and the violence against his workers and domestic staff will be raised in court.

During the address, Khan announced that the party would stage a power show at Minar-i-Pakistan — the same venue where he launched his campaign for the 2013 elections — on Wednesday. He added that it would be a “referendum” on where the nation stood.

Meanwhile, Lahore Police on Sunday booked Khan and over 1,000 PTI workers under terrorism charges in two cases. The number of cases against Khan has climbed up to 97.

Police claimed to have recovered rifles, Kalashnikovs, bullets, marbles and petrol bombs from his house during the search operation.

Police had also removed all the space encroached in Zaman Park for the last several months and also destroyed the “bunkers” made to attack the law enforcement agencies.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Rana Sanuallah said the government would consult its legal team to assess whether a process could be initiated to ban Khan’s party.

"Terrorists were hiding in Zaman Park. Weapons, petrol bombs etc have been recovered from the residence of Imran Khan which is enough evidence to file a reference against the PTI for being a militant organization,” Sanaullah said.

Regarding the government's plan to initiate the process to declare the PTI a proscribed outfit, the minister said: “Primarily it is a judicial process to declare any party proscribe. However, we will consult our legal team on the issue." Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif appeared to agree with the assertion by his niece PMN-L Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz that Khan’s party is a “militant organisation”.

"If anyone had any doubt, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Niazi’s antics of the last few days laid bare his fascist and militant tendencies," Sharif said, adding that Khan has "taken a leaf out of the RSS book".

Police on Sunday obtained one-day physical remand of over 100 PTI activists arrested during Saturday's operation.

As Punjab police has completely withdrawn security from the PTI chief, the Gilgit-Baltistan province where his party is in power is providing security to him.

The cricketer-turned-politician was disqualified by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in October last year for not sharing details of the sales. The top electoral body later filed a complaint with the district court to punish him, under criminal laws, for selling the gifts he had received as prime minister of the country.

Khan was ousted from power in April last year after losing a no-confidence vote, becoming the first Pakistani prime minister to be voted out by the National Assembly. PTI MZ/ZH ZH ZH

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