Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb on Wednesday appeared to confirm media reports that a “Gilgit-Baltistan force”—i.e. the region’s police—are being used to attack Punjab police “who are trying to implement court orders to detain Imran Khan.”
Addressing a press conference as clashes between police, seeking to arrest Khan on court orders, and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers, seeking to prevent the arrest on Khan’s call, entered their second day, she claimed the former prime minister wanted unrest and anarchy in the country.
Seemingly confirming earlier media reports of Gilgit-Baltistan police aiming guns at Punjab police, she stressed that the personnel deployed to arrest Khan were unarmed. She also maintained that law enforcement officials were merely carrying out court orders to apprehend Khan and were not acting on any government orders. Noting that the PTI chief was wanted in several cases, including threatening a judge, foreign funding, his alleged parentage of Tyrian White and the Toshakhana reference, she said the warrant against him had been issued by a court and police were merely enforcing it.
Accusing the PTI chairman of using women and children as human shields outside Zaman Park during the clashes, she regretted that at least 65 policemen had been injured by PTI workers, who she said had also thrown petrol bombs on police, damaging public property.
Emphasizing that the entire situation could have been prevented if courts had ordered Khan to be arrested earlier, she advised him to appear before court of his own accord rather than resorting to violent tactics. If Khan’s arrest warrants were to be suspended, she said, courts should accord the same benefit to all citizens and allow them to violate court orders.
Lamenting that Khan’s resistance had made a “joke” out of the rule of law and judiciary, she also urged the media to fact-check all claims of the PTI chief before broadcasting or publishing them.