Imran’s arrest not a big deal: Sanaullah

Says govt could take him into custody if it so desired, but courts should convict him first

Our Correspondent March 05, 2023


Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan on Sunday said the arrest of PTI Chairman Imran Khan was not a “big deal” and the government could proceed with the move if it so desired but it wanted the courts to convict him first.

“The day the government decides to arrest Imran, it will not be a difficult task and he will be taken into custody within no time,” the interior minister told the media after inaugurating a ceremony at University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF).

“If the government wanted, he [Imran] could have been arrested during his appearance at the high court,” he added.

Earlier in the day, the Islamabad police travelled to Lahore to arrest Imran over the warrants issued against him in the Toshakhana (gift repository) case.

However, police officials said the former premier was avoiding being arrested, as his staff told them that the PTI chairman was "unavailable" when they visited his Zaman Park residence with court orders.

Speaking to the media, Sanaullah said if the court ordered Imran’s arrest, the government would instantly comply with the instructions without any fear of a law and order situation or resistance from PTI activists.

The interior minister maintained that in the present instance, the police had visited the PTI chief’s Zaman Park residence to comply with the court orders and the government had nothing to do with it.

Sanaullah pointed out that multiple cases had been registered against Imran.
He added that the PTI chairman had been nominated in the Toshakhana case but not been indicted yet.

The minister claimed that Imran was maligning others, adding that under his nose, his “crony Farah Gogi kept looting and shifting her wealth abroad”.

Speaking about holding elections, Sanaullah said it was the responsibility of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), and his party, the PML-N, was ready to participate in the democratic process.

However, he added that the current situation was in front of everyone.

The minister emphasized that such elections should be held only after the country has made significant progress towards improvement.

He also claimed that Imran’s story of an assassination attack on him was “based on lies”.

Other leaders of the ruling coalition parties also reacted to the development, saying that the deposed prime minister was “afraid of being arrested”.

PML-N Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz took to Twitter to criticise Imran.
“Today, the country knows the difference between a leader and a jackal,” she wrote.

“Even if the lion [her father PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif] is innocent, he holds his daughter’s hand and comes to Pakistan from London to present himself for arrest and if a jackal [Imran] is a thief, he hides by making other people’s daughters a shield, fearing arrest!” she added.

In another tweet, Maryam, who is also the PML-N’s chief organiser, asked her father Nawaz to lend some of his courage to Imran.

PML-N leader and PM’s special aide Attaullah Tarar, while speaking to the media in Karachi, said Imran needed to be indicted in the Toshakhana case. He added that the police did not go to Zaman Park on government’s instructions but to implement the court orders.

Describing the PTI chief as a “coward”, Tarar maintained that there were reports that Imran had locked himself in a room at his residence fearing arrest.

He claimed that Toshakhana gifts worth billions of rupees were sold by Imran and his wife at high rates in international markets after purchasing them for a small amount. Calling it a case of theft, Tarar said these gifts were the property of the Pakistani people.

PPP leader and Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon also lashed out at the PTI chief.

He said Imran Niazi, the chief of the “Jail Bharo Tehreek”, was afraid of being arrested even on court orders.

“Those who preach the rule of law are today flouting court orders,” he added.

(With input from APP)


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