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Police at Imran Khan’s residence to arrest him: What is the latest trouble for the former Pak PM

Less than 10 days after police first attempted to arrest former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case, they arrived at his residence in Lahore to arrest him on Tuesday afternoon (March 14).

However, the 70-year-old leader is not at home, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi told the media outside Imran’s home. Imran later that evening released a video message urging his supporters to continue fighting the government even if he is “imprisoned or killed”.

Accordingly dusk, police arrived at his home in armored vehicles and were met with huge protests by PTI workers who allegedly threw stones at them. Staff dispersed protesters with water cannons and tear gas, the news agency said.

The incident came a day after a sessional court in Islamabad issued a no-bail arrest warrant for Imran over his continued absence from the Toshakhana case. The warrant was first issued on February 28 when he failed to appear in court for the arraignment. This was the third time Imran’s indictment in this case was postponed.

Meanwhile, on Monday, another court issued a no-bail warrant for his arrest in a case involving the threat of a co-district and sitting judge. But it later exposed Arrest warrant until March 16.

What is the Toshakhana case?

The Toshakhana controversy came to the fore when in August 2022 the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led coalition government filed a lawsuit against Imran, claiming he had failed to disclose information about gifts to the Toshakhana and proceeds from the “illegal” sale of some gifts.

Established in 1974, Toshakhana is a department under the administrative control of the Cabinet Department that stores gifts and other expensive items received from officials. According to its rules, officials are required to report gifts and other such materials they receive to the Cabinet Department.

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However, when Imran came to power in 2018, he resisted disclosing details of the many gifts he received during his tenure, saying it would severely damage relations with other countries.

The former prime minister then wrote a letter to the Electoral Commission of Pakistan (ECP) admitting to having sold at least four such gifts but also saying that he bought them from the government by paying a percentage of their value.

On Sunday, the government of Pakistan released a list of all gifts registered in Toshakhana since 2002, and it was noted that Imran, as head of state, had received no fewer than 101 gifts. “From this, as of September 24, 2018, he withheld gifts worth at least PKR 100 million and, according to records, only paid PKR 20 million to Toshkana,” reported The Indian Express.

Gifts he kept with him included a diamond watch worth PKR 85 million, a pair of cufflinks worth PKR 5.6 million, a ring worth PKR 8.75 million and a pen worth 1, 5 million PKR. Imran also kept several Rolex watches, including one priced at PKR 1.5 million, after paying PKR 294,000 in October 2018. He also kept gifts like Dolce & Gabbana and Bvlgari LE Gemme perfumes, an iPhone, a Mont Blanc pen, a model of a mosque and bottles of Attar, among others.

What did the ECP say about the controversy?

Almost two months after the case was filed against Imran, the ECP found that while the sales were not illegal because the items belonged to Imran, since he had paid for them, he was behaving unethically, making false claims and making false statements. The top polling body banned Imran from holding public office for a period of five years.

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In its decision it said: “We reasonably consider that the defendant was disqualified under Article 63(1)(p) of the (Pakistani) Constitution in conjunction with Sections 137, 167 and 173 of the Elections Act 2017, therefore he was not is a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan and his seat has accordingly become vacant”.

What happened after Imran was disqualified?

Shortly after the ECP’s decision was announced, huge protests led by PTI officials erupted outside the electoral body’s offices across the country. Several cases of vandalism were reported during these demonstrations, and protesters clashed with police.

A case of terrorism was then registered against Imran, alleging that the PTI leadership had encouraged the protests after the ECP disqualified the prime minister in the Toshakhana case.

What are the other cases against Imran?

Aside from the Toshakhana and terrorism cases, the former prime minister also faces court cases related to the threats against another district and session judge. acc duskImran was booked after he announced in August 2022 that he would be filing charges against Inspector General of Police (IGP) Akbar Nasir Khan, the DIG and Additional District and Session Judge Zeba Chaudhry over alleged torture against his aide Shahbaz Gil had taken no action.

The former prime minister has also been charged with attempted murder. This case was registered by Pakistan Muslim League (N) politician Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha, who claimed that during the October protests outside the ECP office in Islamabad, he was attacked by a Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police officer in order to arrest him at the behest of Imran kill.

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Another case against him relates to the allegation of prohibited financing. Imran and his party have been accused of receiving funds from Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan (Head of UAE Ministry of Culture), foreign Pakistanis and their companies. There are claims that there were several irregularities in the process. The case was filed by the state through the Federal Investigation Agency’s Corporate Banking Circle in Islamabad.

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