Roads deserted after police closed all major roads towards Zaman Park in Lahore on May 18, 2023.
LAHORE: Punjab government’s delegation Friday arrived at former prime minister Imran Khan’s residence to discuss the SOPs for a search operation as the authorities claim there are “30-40 terrorists” present inside Zaman Park. Govt team at Zaman Park to negotiate search operation procedure.
The delegation — led by Lahore’s commissioner and including SP, DIG, and lady police personnel — came to Zaman Park after the authorities received search warrants from an anti-terrorism court to raid the former prime minister’s residence.
Before starting the search operation at Zaman Park, the Punjab government chose to send a team to meet with the PTI leadership, which resulted in the issuing of the statement.
The discussions with Khan have ended and negotiations with his legal team have begun, topnewsplanet onsite reporter said.
The Punjab government on Wednesday had claimed that “30-40 terrorists were hiding inside Khan’s residence” and gave a 24-hour ultimatum to PTI to hand over these miscreants or face action.
On Thursday no action was taken after the deadline expired.
Later, Punjab Information Minister Amir Mir said that law enforcers would conduct a search operation at Khan’s residence after his permission and in front of cameras to apprehend “terrorists”.
“We [the interim government] have decided that instead of a head-on collision, we will send a delegation to Khan sahab under the supervision of the Lahore commissioner.
“They will ask him [Khan] to allow them to conduct a search operation. A police party — comprising 400 personnel — will accompany the delegation as there is a reported presence of terrorists,” he said.
Six more terrorists arrested
Earlier, 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.
According to CCPO Kamyana four of the alleged “terrorists” were involved in the attack on Askari Tower while two of them were among those who ransacked the Corps Commander House Lahore.
On Thursday, the Punjab caretaker information minister shared that eight “terrorists” had been arrested while they were escaping from Lahore’s Zaman Park area.
The detained terrorists were already identified and are allegedly involved in the attack on the Lahore Corps Commander House on May 9, he had said.
Reference against judge
CPO Kamyana’s confirmation of the arrests came hours before a negotiation team headed by Lahore Commissioner Muhammad Ali Randhawa was scheduled to meet PTI leaders regarding a search operation at Zaman Park.
Meanwhile the road between Mall Road and Dharmapura in Lahore has been closed by the police while all the roads leading to Zaman Park have been cordoned off.
During a meeting today, CM Punjab Mohsin Naqvi ordered that the cases registered against the miscreants must be pursued with full force and that the “fugitives” should be arrested as soon as possible.
The purpose of the conference was to go over the situation of law and order in the province and the findings of the up to that time inquiry into individuals in charge of the demonstrations on May 9.
The meeting’s attendees also voiced worry about the alleged assistance of individuals who assaulted the ISI headquarters in Faisalabad.
Those accused of being involved in the attack include Ali Afzal Sahi, who is reportedly a close relative of a judge, amongst others.
It was also decided in the session that a reference would be sent against a judge for providing extraordinary facilities to terrorists, while the “illegal and unconstitutional facilitation” of those accused of the violence will also be challenged.
“Facilitation of the suspects is equivalent to murder of justice,” the meeting observed.