LAHORE – Pakistan’s police raided the home of former prime minister Imran Khan in central Lahore on Saturday, hours after he headed to the capital Islamabad to attend a court hearing.
Security forces arrested many of Mr Khan’s supporters and removed sandbag barricades and shipping containers installed by them outside his house, Dawn television channel reported.
Mr Khan said he expected to be arrested, as he left Lahore to face a court in Islamabad to address charges of unlawfully selling state gifts given to him by foreign dignitaries while in office.
The 70-year-old former cricket star has been tangled in a slew of court cases, a frequent hazard for opposition figures in Pakistan’s mudslinging politics.
“I am going to the Islamabad court right now. I want to tell you all that they have made a plan to arrest me,” he said in a video message from the motorway, claiming he was the target of a plot to stop him from standing in elections due by October.
“The point of their attack on my house was not to present me before the Islamabad court,” he said. “The purpose was to put me in jail.”
Hours earlier in Lahore, Mr Khan said he has formed a committee to lead his party if he is arrested.
He has led nationwide protests after his ouster from power in 2022 and has had a spate of cases filed against him. The police unsuccessfully tried to arrest him on Tuesday.
Police entered his property after Mr Khan arrived in Islamabad for the court appearance.
Earlier this week, police and his supporters clashed outside his home earlier during the arrest attempt.
Mr Khan, who was shot and wounded while campaigning in November, said the threat to his life is greater than before and asserted - without providing evidence - that his political opponents and the military want to block him from standing in elections later in 2023.
Security was tight around the judicial complex where Mr Khan was ...