In connection with the hounding of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his delegation at Masjid-e-Nabwi in Saudi Arabia, Punjab police have arrested Imran Khan and 150 others, including some members of his former cabinet, officials said.
As soon as Shehbaz Sharif and other members of his delegation arrived at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madina last Thursday, video clips circulating on social media showed some pilgrims — apparently Imran Khan supporters — shouting ‘chor’ (thief) and ‘gaddar’ (traitor).
The Pakistani pilgrims also used derogatory language toward the members of the delegation. Five Pakistanis are said to have been arrested by Madina police for sloganeering.
Case no. 798/2022 was filed in Faisalabad’s Madina Town police station, according to the details.
Officials said Mr Khan, who is also the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, and 150 others, including former federal minister Sheikh Rasheed, former adviser to the prime minister Shahbaz Gill, former deputy speaker of the National Assembly Qasim Soori, and Mr Khan’s close aides in London, Anil Musarrat and Sahibzada Jehangir, were arrested on Saturday night in Punjab.
On the complaint of local resident Naeem Bhatti, the case was registered at a police station in Faisalabad, about 180 kilometres from Lahore, on charges of desecration of the Prophet’s mosque in Madina, hooliganism, and hurting Muslim sentiments, they said.
The FIR was filed under various sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, including 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs).