Imran Khan defiant as PTI-police clashes continue at Zaman Park

LAHORE – Police are continuing to use tear-gas and water cannons to push back supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf who gathered near the residence of party chief Imran Khan in Punjab capital to block his arrest.

Islamabad police and anti-riot force were locked in a day-long standoff with PTI activists after continued violent clashes near Zaman Park as officers move forward in a desperate attempt to arrest the populist leader who refused to surrender till Wednesday morning.

As defiant leader dodged arrest, his supporters brave massive tear gas and strong water cannons and even pelted stones at the police party. As the capital force and Punjab police had to pull back, Rangers personnel entered into the scene to avert the extreme situation on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the former premier has called on his supporters to continue the struggle for the rule of law, and ensure that they continue the efforts no matter what, and come out on the streets. Khan said If he got detained or killed, “the fight for Haqeeqi Azadi must continue.”

In his recent interview, the PTI chief told international media that officials are acting outside the law. Imran said there was no reason for cops to arrest him as he had taken protective bail. The populist leader however maintained that he is mentally prepared for going to jail.

PTI chief claimed whether he is behind bars or not, the ruling alliance will not be able to stop his party from winning the upcoming polls.

Charged workers of the former ruling party have also staged protests across major cities including Karachi, Peshawar, and Quetta.

The recent clashes stemmed from Khan’s negligent behavior as he avoided appearances before the court since last year when he suffered a gun attack at a protest rally and continued rhetoric that he was not fit to travel from Lahore to Islamabad and face security threats.