Punjab Government Plans Independent Measures as Consensus Fails on Search of Imran Khan’s Residence

Punjab Government Plans Independent Measures as Consensus Fails on Search of Imran Khan's Residence

The Punjab government has decided to develop its own approach to apprehend alleged arsonists reportedly hiding at PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s Zaman Park residence, after a team of senior district administration and police officers failed to reach a consensus with the party leadership regarding a search operation. 

Separately, the former prime minister stated that he did not allow the government team to enter his residence, insisting that the search should adhere to the guidelines set by the Lahore High Court, which dictate that only one representative from each side be involved. 

Prior to the visit of the government team, led by Lahore Division Commissioner Mohammad Ali Randhawa and including SSP (operations) Sohaib Ashraf and Lahore Deputy Commissioner Rafia Haider, conflicting reports emerged about whether the police were conducting a search operation or negotiating with the former prime minister at his house. 

The confusion deepened when nearly 400 police personnel were put on alert to escort the government team to Imran Khan’s residence. 

However, Punjab’s caretaker Information Minister Aamir Mir clarified later that the team had only visited Imran Khan’s residence to establish standard operating procedures (SOPs) for a future search operation. He explained that no consensus had been reached between the visiting team and the PTI chairman. 

Mir stated that the government team had provided Imran Khan with a list of around 2,200 alleged PTI miscreants wanted by the Punjab police for their involvement in attacks on military installations, including the Corps Commander House in Lahore. According to Mir, senior PTI leaders, including Azam Swati, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Hassan Niazi, Zubair Niazi, Hammad Azhar, Fawad Chaudhry, and Asad Umar, were among those named. 

Mir added that the visiting team presented “indisputable evidence” to Imran Khan, including geo-fencing data and call detail records (CDRs) indicating the locations of individuals connected to his Zaman Park residence. He claimed that the team informed Imran Khan that some suspects arrested in relation to the May 9 violence cases confessed to planning an attack on the Gujranwala Corps Commander House. 

As no agreement was reached on searching Imran Khan’s residence, the caretaker interior minister stated that the Punjab government would devise its own approach. 

Police sources revealed that Imran Khan raised objections to the government team’s proposed search plan due to the presence of women residing in his house. However, he agreed to remove encroachments, including protest camps, tents, and speed breakers outside his residence. 

Read More: Federal Cabinet Approves Trial of May 9 Protesters Under Army Act

Formation of 10 JITs 

Earlier on the same day, the Punjab government formed 10 Joint Investigation Teams (JITs) to separately investigate cases registered under anti-terrorism and other serious charges against the arsonists involved in the May 9 violence in Lahore. 

The Punjab Home Department issued notifications for the JITs based on recommendations from IG Dr. Usman Anwar. 

The JITs have been assigned the task of conducting investigations into cases registered at various police stations in the city, including Racecourse, Sarwar Road, Gulberg, Model Town, Shadman, and Naseerabad. 

The JIT investigating the high-profile attack on the Corps Commander House will be led by Lahore DIG (Investigation) Kamran Adil. Other members of the JIT include Lahore SSP (Investigation) Sohaib Ashraf, DSP Raza Zahid, ASP Taimoor Khan, and Inspector Mohammad Sarwar. 

Additionally, five JITs headed by Lahore SSP (Investigation) Dr. Anoosh Masood Chaudhry have been formed to investigate cases registered in Gulberg and other areas of the Model Town police division, where major incidents of violence, including the attack on Askari Tower, occurred. 

Furthermore, Lahore Cantt Division SP (Investigation) Arslan Zahid will lead the JIT investigating two cases registered at local police stations, while the Civil Lines Division SP will head the JIT formed to probe cases registered with Racecourse and other police stations related to the May 9 attacks/incidents. 

Imran Khan rejects military courts for PTI workers 

Former PM Imran Khan firmly stated on Friday night that PTI workers cannot be tried in military courts. He highlighted that the law pertaining to military courts expired in 2019, and emphasized that no military installation was attacked; only the Corps Commander House was “violated.” 

Imran Khan condemned the May 9 violence, expressing the party’s consistent disapproval of the events. He called for an independent inquiry to identify those responsible for the attack on the Corps Commander House. 

Regarding the government’s attempt to search his residence, Imran Khan insisted that it should be conducted in accordance with the guidelines set by the Lahore High Court: one representative from each side, accompanied by a female. He expressed concerns that the government’s proposed search could be manipulated to produce false evidence, as had happened in the past. 

Imran Khan demanded concrete evidence for the government’s claim that eight PTI leaders were wanted, promising to personally present them to the police. He voiced frustration with the ongoing persecution of the PTI and warned that pitting the party against the army was part of a well-planned conspiracy that could have dire consequences for the country. 

In a related development, the Lahore police announced the arrest of six additional suspects from Zaman Park as they attempted to flee Imran Khan’s residence. According to Capital City Police Officer Bilal Siddique Kamyana, these individuals are connected to the May 9 violence cases registered in various police stations in Lahore. The total number of suspects arrested thus far stands at 14. 

Read More: Sindh Government to Compensate Motorbike Owners Affected by May 9 Protests

Enhanced Vigilance at Banigala 

Capital police have increased surveillance in and around Imran Khan’s Banigala residence in Islamabad to monitor the activities of residents. A police officer confirmed that a contingent of capital police was deployed to Banigala to oversee the situation and monitor the residents. The officer mentioned that a few police officials approached the main gate of the house but did not engage in any conversation. 

Senator Shibli Faraz, chief of staff to Imran Khan, strongly criticized the Islamabad police for “raiding” the Banigala residence and allegedly harassing security guards and staff without justification. Faraz called on the police to demonstrate civility and respect the law; otherwise, the PTI would approach the court against the Inspector General of Police. 

Most Popular

To Top