Any hope that the events of the last few days would lead to a withdrawal and a return of sanity was dashed by the police raid on Imran Khan’s Zaman Park residence in Lahore during his absence in Islamabad where the Islamabad High Court granted him bail in the cases against him. The only logic behind the raid seemed to have been a desire by the police to regain pride lost during the successful defence of Zaman Park by PTI workers, who physically prevented The Islamabad Police from implementing the orders of an Islamabad court demanding that he appear before it so that he could be indicted in the Toshakhana case. There was a hope raised that matters were headed towards dialogue by Mr Khan and the government both saying they were ready for talks. That hope has now been dashed, apparently by the government giving in to the police desire to outdo Imran’s show of ‘strngth’ which he rather puerilely showed by refusing to comply with the warrants.
It is not known why the Zaman Park premises were se4arched, with indications that recoveries had been brought in by the police, leaving them open to the charge of planting evidence. The fallout is not that the government will negotiate from a position of strength, but Mr Khan, who has already shown his ego matters to him and his workers, is unlikely to talk to those who violated his privacy. It is ironic that the security of the PSL has been dragged into this issue, because the police was also needed for its security, yet while the PSL is a symbol of security and normalcy, the events at Zaman Park point in much the other direction.
Something has gone terribly wrong when a quiet and peaceable upscale neighbourhood like Zaman Park becomes a battlefield, not just noisy, but also actually unsafe, as peaceful residents trying to get on with their lives, found that tear gas, so liberally used on Thursday, made resident’s eyes water. But then, Zman Park residents not only do nothave court warrants served on them in criminal cases, and they do not expect to have neighbours who resist such service. They are more used to being inconvenienced by police security (resident inldue not just an ex-PM, but an ex-minister and thechildren of an ex-minister), not by policemen serving warrants.