Imran Khan ‘prepared for arrest’ as police clash with supporters

Imran Khan has said he is “mentally prepared for arrest” as police battle supporters outside his home in eastern Pakistan.

Speaking to Sky News, the former prime minister of Pakistan said officers are “very determined” to arrest him after numerous previous attempts.

Mr Khan, 70, has ignored a string of warrants for multiple alleged crimes including terrorism charges, concealing his assets, and illegally selling state gifts he received during his term as premier.

“[It feels] like a huge operation is taking place to pick me up,” Mr Khan said.

“[The] country has known me for 50 years as a cricketer, charity, universities. Someone like me is being treated like some little terrorist, that’s the amount of force outside.” (sic)

The former international cricketer was ousted in a no-confidence vote in parliament in April last year and claims the charges against him are part of a plot to discredit him by his successor Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and the government.

According to officers, police battled with Mr Khan’s supporters after arriving outside his home in Lahore, eastern Pakistan.

They planned on serving him a new warrant to appear in court later this week, but the operation triggered clashes between supporters and officers.

About a dozen police and some 35 supporters were reported injured. Tear gas shells and pieces of brick littered the pavement as Mr Khan’s followers fought back.

When questioned about the episodes of violence, Mr Khan told Sky News that if he is arrested he has told his supporters that “violence doesn’t suit us”

“My worry is that if they put me in jail then workers will come out. If workers come out, there is every chance there will be some violence,” he said.

“I have told our workers that any violence does not suit us, because we want elections.”

The clash comes after Mr Khan rallied thousands of his supporters in eastern Pakistan on Monday. Supporters threw rose petals at the politician’s convoy. The rally was permitted by authorities, but thousands of police were deployed.

The former prime minister has avoided appearances before the court since November when he was shot three times in a gun attack at a protest rally in the eastern Punjab province.

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