Amid legal wrangling, Imran says ‘London plan’ underway to arrest him

— Former PM says police preventing his convoy from entering court

LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: Imran Khan said he was aware of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government’s intention to arrest him as the former prime minister, who is due to appear before a judge to face charges in the Toshakhana case, arrived in Islamabad for the hearing.

His message to supporters and workers of his Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party came after repeated attempts from law enforcement authorities to arrest him for missing previous hearings.

In a video message shared on Twitter, Khan said: “I am going to court despite knowing they’ll arrest me because I believe in the rule of law.”

He also claimed that a premeditated plan to arrest him was in place and alleged that it was part of a larger “London plan” orchestrated allegedly by deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Khan’s arrival at the Judicial Complex was marred by allegations of violence. Television footage showed a group of supporters accompanying Khan attempted to escort him onto the court premises, but the police prevented them from doing so due to security arrangements.

The police claimed the party workers began to pelt stones at them.

The opposition party has also accused the police of shelling Khan’s vehicle. Senator Ejaz Chaudhary said Khan’s convoy was outside the courts, and that “intense shelling on [Khan’s] car right now.”

Separately, in an audio message released to the media, Khan said he had been waiting outside the door of the building for 15 minutes and was attempting to enter, but the police had used tear gas and erected checkpoints to prevent him from doing so.

Despite the obstacles, Khan said he remained outside the complex and was still attempting to enter.


The case is based on a complaint the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) filed against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman on charges of misusing his office to sell state gifts.

It centres on a government department known as Toshakhana — which during the Mughal era referred to the treasure houses kept by the subcontinent’s princely rulers to store and display gifts lavished on them.

Government officials must declare all gifts to the Cabinet Division, but are allowed to keep those below a certain value.

More expensive items must go to Toshakhana under the administrative control of the Cabinet Division, but in some cases, the recipient can buy them back at around 50 percent of their value — a discount Khan raised from 20 percent while in office.

The ruling coalition of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) parties has for months alleged Khan and his wife, Bushra Maneka, received, and later sold, lavish gifts worth millions during trips abroad. They included luxury watches, jewellery, designer handbags and perfumes.

Despite multiple previous hearings, Khan has managed to evade arrest by law enforcement personnel.

Accompanied by a convoy of party workers, Khan departed from his residence in the Zaman Park neighbourhood of Lahore and was en route to Islamabad, according to his party.

More details to follow


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