The government has found “enough evidence” – the presence of terrorists, weapons, and items for petrol bombs – during a raid at Imran Khan’s house Zaman Park to file a reference against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf for declaring it a proscribed organisation, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said.
“It is a judicial process to declare any party proscribed. On this, I think our legal team and government will have to see what the possibilities for victory in this process are,” he said at a press conference on Saturday night.
His statement was part of a response to a query about the government’s intention to initiate the process to declare the PTI proscribed.
The question was asked against the backdrop of PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz’s demand on Friday when she asked the federal ruling coalition to start a process for banning the PTI after its workers attacked the police during an operation to arrest Khan.
Sanaullah said that a party leader speaks as per their “assessment” and later facts determine the veracity of such statements. He went on to add that the items found from Zaman Park have proved Maryam’s claims and described them as evidence.
“Terrorists were hiding in Zaman Park. Weapons, petrol bombs, etc have been recovered from the residence of Imran Khan which is enough evidence to file a reference against the PTI for being a militant organisation,” he said.
The Punjab police claimed to have found weapons at the PTI chief’s residence in Lahore during a raid that came as a surprise for the former ruling party.
The discovery of the weapons that the police conducted the raid after obtaining a search warrant because police and Rangers were attacked from Zaman Park earlier this week, Punjab IGP Usman Anwar told a press conference.
Police have found at least 16 rifles — apparently government-issue weapons, officials told Aaj News. The arms were issued to Imran Khan when he was in power but he failed to return them after leaving the government, they added.
Footage and images from Khan’s house indicated police also found marbles which PTI workers had been using in slingshots to attack the police.
Khan was on his way to Islamabad for a court appearance on Saturday when a heavy contingent of police raided his Zaman Park residence, which PTI workers had been jealously guarding for months. They clashed with police and Rangers on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Imran condemned the raid. He described the move as part of the “London plan” to eliminate him and bring his archrival Nawaz Sharif to power.
“Punjab police have led an assault on my house in Zaman Park where Bushra Begum is alone. Under what law are they doing this?” he said in a series of tweets.