Ahead of his “Azadi March," Pakistan’s ousted prime minister Imran Khan is likely to be put under house arrest in connection with a foreign funding case, according to a local news channel ARY News.
Pakistan’s government has reportedly given a green signal to the police to put the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman under house arrest at his residence in Islamabad, Dawn reported quoting police sources.
Khan is likely to be detained under the Maintenance of Public Ordinance. This comes after Khan announced a long march aimed at ousting the ruling coalition government under Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
This comes after the country’s Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) arrested PTI leaders including Tariq Shafi, Hamid Zaman and Saif Niazi. The FIA team raided the house of Shafi in Karachi.
The arrest order was issued by Pakistan Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah.
According to Dawn sources, has prepared a “plan B" to arrest Khan before he enters Islamabad with his march.
Drones, containers to stop protestors in Islamabad
Due to this, the capital Islamabad is being sealed, with the government ordering at least 1,000 containers to shut it. To block the PTI protests from entering the city, these containers will be placed on major highways.
In a first, the government will use helicopters and drones to use tear gas on protesters. At least 10 drones have been deployed in the capital for this, according to Dawn.
Getting into further details, nearly 60,000 teargas shells, as well as 30,000 rubber bullets have been kept in place.
In total, Rs 500 million will be spent for the security arrangements to stop the march.
Reacting to the arrest reports, PTI leader Fawad Hussain Chaudhry said that the ruling government is panicking and scared of the “Azadi March.” In a tweet, Chaudhry said, “after Shehbaz Sharif’s press conference yesterday and the subsequent arrests of Tariq Shafi, Hamid Zaman and Saif Niazi, it is clear that the government is panicking and is scared after the announcement of ‘Azadi March.”
Previous arrest warrant against Khan
This comes days after an Islamabad court issued an arrest warrant against Khan for allegedly threatening female judge Zeba Chaudhry at a political rally in August.
Senior Civil Judge Rana Mujahid Rahim issued the arrest warrant against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief under four sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), sections 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 189 (threat of injury to public servant), and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant).
Khan was booked under the Anti-Terrorism Act for threatening police, judiciary and other state institutions on August 20, hours after he threatened to file cases against top police officials, election commission and political opponents over the treatment meted out to his aide Shahbaz Gill, who was arrested on charges of sedition. His remarks also prompted the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to launch a contempt case against him.