‘Police returns empty-handed from Imran’s residence’

Punjab Police who visited Imran Khan’s Zaman Park residence here to conduct a search operation to arrest “terrorists” reportedly hiding there have returned with only “water and biscuits”, former Pakistan prime minister’s chief security officer said on Friday.

A delegation comprising Lahore Commissioner Muhammad Ali Randhawa, Lahore Deputy Commissioner Rafia Haider, DIG Operations Sadiq Dogar and SSP Operations Sohaib, met Khan, the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party to hold negotiations with him, according to the Dawn newspaper.

The move comes hours after Punjab Police obtained warrants to conduct a detailed search at Khan’s residence.

According to the Punjab Police statement, the search would encompass a thorough examination of both the entrance and exit points of the residence, with the primary objective of finding “terrorists” hiding at the place, the Dawn newspaper reported.

Khan’s chief security officer Iftikhar Ghuman, however, said the Punjab police have returned from Zaman Park “empty-handed”, the report said.

Talking to journalists outside Khan’s residence, Ghuman said: “I think they have understood that there is nothing here. The only thing they got here was water and biscuits.” “We opened the doors of the house for them in front of you. Now you ask them what they got,” he added.

On Wednesday, the Punjab government claimed that “30 to 40 terrorists were hiding inside Khan’s residence,” and gave an ultimatum of 24 hours to his party to hand over the miscreants.

However, no action was taken after the deadline expired on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Bilal Saddique Kamyana claimed to have arrested six more “terrorists” attempting to flee from Khan’s Zaman Park residence.

On Friday, an anti-terrorism court here approved pre-arrest bail till June 2 to Khan in three terrorism cases filed against Pakistan’s former prime minister in the wake of violence that erupted after his arrest on May 9.

In a video-link address from his Zaman Park residence here on Wednesday, Khan said Pakistan is heading towards an imminent disaster and it may face disintegration. On May 9, Khan was arrested by the paramilitary Pakistan Rangers at the Islamabad High Court premises that triggered unrest in Pakistan.