Pakistan police use water cannon in attempt to arrest Imran Khan

Tuesday, Imran Khan’s supporters who had congregated outside his home to block officers from arresting him were pushed back by Pakistani riot police using water cannon and tear gas.

Khan was removed from office by a no confidence vote last year, and as he advocates for early elections and his re-election, he is mired in a number of legal disputes.

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After Khan missed several court dates related to a corruption case claiming security concerns, police were dispatched from the capital Islamabad to his residence in the eastern city of Lahore to serve an arrest warrant. This is the second time in recent weeks that this has happened.

“We are here basically to execute the warrants and to arrest him,” Syed Shahzad Nadeem Bukhari, deputy inspector general of Islamabad police, told reporters outside Khan’s residence in Lahore.

Officers were met by at least 200 Khan supporters, some wielding sticks and hurling stones, draped in the red and green flags of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.

With signs bearing the 70-year-old opposition leader’s arrest order, police used a water cannon and tear gas to disperse the crowds as they tried to get to Khan’s home.

Khan made a video statement inside the home and posted it to Twitter.

“Police have arrived here to put me in prison,” he said. “They believe the nation will go into slumber when Imran Khan goes to jail.”

We want to be peaceful, PTI deputy leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi told media in Lahore.

Qureshi demanded police should deliver the arrest warrant to him and said he would “try to find a solution to prevent bloodshed”.

Khan has been called before the court to defend himself against claims that he failed to disclose gifts he got while serving as prime minister or the proceeds from their sale.

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