Monday, March 06, 2023
A day after Imran Khan’s hide-and-seek drama, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Monday claimed that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman had jumped his residence's wall and escaped to his neighbour's home to evade arrest.
The minister's comments came after an Islamabad police team came to Lahore for arresting the PTI chief — but without the court summons. The law enforcers returned without an arrest as the party told them that he "wasn't home".
On February 28, Additional Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal issued the former prime minister's non-bailable arrest warrant for continuously failing to appear before the court in the Toshakhana case.
"Yesterday, the team that went to arrest Khan faced a lot of drama. There are rumours that he [Khan] jumped into his neighbours' house [to hide]. After a while, he surfaced from somewhere and delivered a huge speech," the minister said during a press conference in Islamabad.
The minister admitted that if the police wanted to arrest the former prime minister, this wasn't an appropriate strategy. "The police went there to inform him about the court's orders. But he is a shameless person."
Sanaullah added that when the authorities want to arrest and present him before the court, they will do so without hesitation. The interior minister added that Khan misused his authority when it came to Toshakhana gifts.
The minister said that the deposed prime minister — who was ousted from power in April last year and has since been protesting against the government — will have to answer before the court.
"If the court acquits Imran Khan, we will accept it," Sanaullah said, adding that the government has no desire in arresting him, but he should ensure his appearance before the courts.
Berating the PTI chief for the policies during his time in government, the interior minister said: "Imran Khan's economic policies have led to a fall in dollars."
The interior minister said people have stopped doing business and started hoarding dollars. He added that the government has not yet stopped the smuggling of dollars across the border.
Sanaullah added that billions of dollars are being smuggled to Afghanistan in sacks. "The names of elements involved in smuggling should be brought to the fore and they should be held accountable."
Pakistan faces a severe dollar crunch and the smuggling of the greenback to Afghanistan is exacerbating the situation for the already troubled $350 billion economy.