Islamabad police reach Lahore in ‘helicopter to arrest’ Imran Khan

Desperate to put him behind bars, a police party from Islamabad flew by helicopter to Lahore to arrest PTI Chairman Imran Khan in the ‘judge threatening case’ after a district and sessions court issued his non-bailable arrest warrants for failing to attend the hearing.
Earlier, Civil Judge Rana Mujahid Rahim released the three-page reserved verdict.
Dismissing Khan’s petition seeking exemption from attending the hearing of the case in person, the court ordered the police to produce the PTI chief before it by March 29.
Islamabad police team arrives to take Khan in custody as he gears up to spearhead a massive election rally in a show of power with thousands of frenzied workers waiting for him to take the lead in the party’s efforts to turn up the heat on the government.
The police said they would need a sizable backup to pick up Khan and take him to Islamabad, according to sources.
The former prime minister, who was deposed in a vote of no-confidence last year, once again skipped the hearing. Instead, he filed a plea for an exemption from physically appearing before the judge, requesting permission for joining the court proceedings virtually via video link.
During the hearing, a lawyer for the PTI chief, Intezar Haider Panjutha, said it was not safe for the 71-year-old politician to come to Islamabad amid security threats against him, adding that they have filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) asking permission to appear virtually before the courts.
Another member of Khan’s legal team, Naeem Haider Panjutha, said a petition has been filed seeking exemption from attendance on behalf of the former prime minister on security grounds.
The lawyer also requested to accept Imran’s plea, mentioning “not appearing for some reasons and not willing to appear are two different things.”
Earlier, the sessions court had rejected the PTI chief’s plea by saying “if Imran did not appear in court today, a non-bailable arrest warrant against him would be issued.
The judge said that if Imran Khan does not appear during court hours today, he would issue a non-bailable arrest warrant against him.
After that, the court briefly adjourned the hearing till 12:30pm and later resumed it.
A case has been registered against the PTI chair at Islamabad’s Margalla police station for hurling threatening remarks at judge Zeba Chaudhry.