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Imran's house under police siege

SAMAA | - Posted: Sep 15, 2014 | Last Updated: 7 years ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Sep 15, 2014 | Last Updated: 7 years ago

ISLAMABAD: A large contingent of cops has surrounded Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Imran Khan's house to arrest or put him under house-arrest for forcibly getting his party workers released from the custody of police, Samaa reported.

Khan has been charged with the obstruction of legal process for he had his car overtake, block the passage of, and stop a police prisoner van outside Lake View Park after which he along with his supporters coerced the cops into setting free at least 15 PTI workers.

The 'force-freed' PTI workers were later shifted to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) House, however their exact whereabouts were known only to the PTI leadership.

“At least 1500 policemen are ready to raid Khan's Bani Gala residence. Announcements are being made through megaphone for the surrender of absconders”, a police official told Samaa.

It is not clear whether police have been ordered to apprehend Imran Khan for the charges leveled against him in the case registered in Bani Gala Police Station.

“Police are repeatedly demanding of Khan to hand them over the fugitives, who were arrested for the violation for Section 144”, another official told Samaa.

One of the cops told Samaa that police would not hesitate in barging into Khan's palatial house if the absconders were not delivered to them..

Deadlock Dies Hard

Earlier on Saturday, talks to end a month long sit-in by anti-government protesters in Pakistanwere deadlocked after authorities arrested dozens of demonstrators, some of whom were accused of storming a TV station.

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and populist cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri have gathered thousands of supporters in Islamabad since August 14 calling on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign over what they claim was massive rigging of the 2013 election.

Interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan confirmed that the government had detained several people for storming the state run Pakistan Television (PTV) building earlier this month.

“Around 20 people have been identified among those who attacked the PTV building. We have arrested seven of them,” Khan told a news conference.

The arrests prompted Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) party to cancel talks aimed at ending the crisis.

Addressing a charged crowd in front of the parliament house to mark their 30th day of protest, Imran Khan said further talks had to end following the arrest of his workers.

Earlier in the day PTI secretary general Jahangir Tareen told reporters the party had suspended talks.

“We have suspended all negotiations. I have also informed the opposition parties' leaders who were negotiating,” Tareen told reporters.

“We will not end our protest until Nawaz Sharif resigns,” he added.

Hundreds of protesters briefly seized the state broadcaster on September 1 intensifying a political crisis that had already gripped the nuclear-armed nation.

Meanwhile thousands have gathered for the last month inside Islamabad's government zone, sparking frequent clashes with the police.

“We arrested some people while they were leaving the protest site,” Interior Minister Khan said of the latest arrests, adding that 11 people armed with guns were also arrested.

Radio Pakistan reported that an Islamabad court sent over one hundred people to jail on a fourteen day remand for attacking state institutions and violating a ban on public gatherings in the capital.

Among those detained was a popular PTI DJ who plays music during Imran Khan's speeches and attracts large crowds of youths dancing to his beats at the regular rallies.

After the arrests, some PTI leaders and workers gathered in Islamabad's district courts in a failed attempt to stop the transportation of their colleagues to jail.

Tahir-ul-Qadri, chief of his own Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) party also announced he had suspended negotiations alleging that 12 of his personal guards were also arrested.

Several rounds of talks have been held between the government, opposition groups and the two protesting parties to find a solution to the crisis.

Although Khan and Qadri claim the 2013 elections were massively rigged, local and foreign observers said the polls were credible.

Analysts believe the protests have been coordinated by the powerful army as a means of re-asserting its dominance over civilian authorities.–SAMAA/Agencies

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