Police surrounded Imran Khan’s home in Lahore on Wednesday and the former Pakistani prime minister said he expected to be arrested again soon.
The government accused Imran of using his home to harbor up to 40 rioters who it blamed for attacks on the army, and gave him a 24-hour ultimatum to hand them over.
“These terrorists should be turned over to the police, or else there will be action,” Punjab province’s Information Minister Amir Mir said. A police operation would be launched if Imran did not comply, he said.
Imran said his opponents were out to trigger a fight between him and the army. “I’m afraid that this will bring a big backlash that will cause huge loss to our country,” he said. “If someone thinks that this strategy can win a ban on my party, it is not going to happen.”
He demanded a judicial commission headed by the chief justice to probe the violence that erupted after hewas arrested by a paramilitary force on May 9 on graft allegations, which he denies.
Thousands of supporters attacked and set fire to government and public buildings, including the army’s headquarters. More than 3,000 people are already in custody over the violence.
Federal Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb described the attacks on army installations as “sedition,” and said those involved would be tried in military courts.
The Supreme Court ordered Imran’s release on bail last Friday. He has been rallying his supporters to demand a snap election since he was ousted in a parliamentary vote of confidence in April 2022.