“Police have come to arrest and send me to jail."
Protests have erupted in cities across Pakistan, with clashes between police and supporters of ousted leader Imran Khan ahead of his possible arrest.
Police charged at supporters with batons and lobbed teargas shells.
Government spokesperson Amir Mir said hundreds of Khan supporters gathered outside his home after a police team arrived from Islamabad to arrest him on a court order.
Two non-bailable arrest warrants were issued against Imran Khan on March 13, 2023, after he failed to appear in courts in cases linked to the Toshakhana reference and threatening a female additional district and sessions judge,
Videos have circulated on social media, showing tear gas being thrown at his residence.
I have no words! How can Imran Khan's home be shelled?… Has Pakistani establistment lost all its mind? Pls come to your sense!… This is too far by all means!….
— Turgay Evren (@TurgayEvren1) March 14, 2023
In a video, Imran Khan posted: “Police have come to arrest and send me to jail.
“If something happens to me, or sent to jail, or they kill me, you’ve to prove that this nation will continue to struggle even without Imran Khan.”
According to police, workers from Khan’s PTI party attacked officers with stones and bricks.
Television pictures showed Khan supporters also using slingshots.
In Lahore, a number of police officials and PTI supporters have been injured in the clashes.
Mobile signals have been blocked while local TV channels have also stopped broadcasting from the area.
Haider Rasul Mirza, a Lahore-based criminal law expert and lawyer said that once a warrant is issued by a court, appearance is mandatory.
He said: “When such a warrant is issued and served, the person has to appear before the court.
“When they do appear, they can try and seek exemption from future appearances but after issuance of warrants, attendance is mandatory.”
Mr Mirza said it was odd that the police were trying to arrest Khan before the warrant’s deadline on Saturday.
“If the deadline is March 18, why are they eager to arrest him on March 13 or 14?
“However, it also does not mean the authorities cannot arrest him earlier. A warrant has been issued and is available for police to execute.”
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
Mr Mirza said the only way to avoid appearing in court is to have the warrant suspended by a higher court, and the PTI has already filed an appeal.
He added: “This warrant is not for any offence, but only to ensure appearance before the court.
“Once he appears, the warrant will be considered executed as the process will be fulfilled.”