As Imran Khan’s supporters blocked Pakistan police’s attempts to arrest him from his Lahore home, the former Pakistan prime minister put out a video message in which he appealed to the people to fight for their rights even if he is jailed or killed.
Khan’s supporters hit the streets as the police moved to arrest him in a corruption case. Stones were thrown at the police personnel, who responded with water cannons.
My message to the nation to stand resolute and fight for Haqeeqi Azadi & rule of law. pic.twitter.com/bgVuOjsmHG
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) March 14, 2023
Addressing his countrymen, Khan said, “The police have arrived to arrest me. They think that if Imran Khan goes to jail, the people will go to sleep. You have to prove them wrong, you have to prove that the qaum (people) is alive.”
“You have to fight for your rights, you have to hit the streets. God has given Imran Khan everything. I am fighting your battle. I have fought all my life and will continue to do so. But if something happens to me, they put me in jail or kill me, you have to prove that you can fight even without Imran Khan. You have to prove that you will never accept this slavery and this rule by one man. Pakistan zindabad,” he said.
The 70-year-old politician, also a cricket legend, is wanted in the Toshakhana corruption case. Pakistan’s election commission in October last year found him guilty of unlawfully selling gifts from foreign dignitaries during his term as prime minister.
Charges were then filed against him in an anti-corruption court that last week issued an arrest warrant after Khan skipped summons.
Khan, who leads the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, was ousted from office after he lost a trust vote in the national assembly. He has been demanding a snap election — a demand that has been rejected by his successor Shehbaz Sharif.