Police raid residence of Pakistani PM Imran Khan’s nephew

Last Updated: Sunday, 15 December 2019 (14:04 IST)
Pakistani police raided the house of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s nephew, Hassan Niazi, after video footage showed him taking part in a violent lawyers’ protest on Wednesday.
 
“The Prime Minister of Pakistan’s nephew’s house and other premises, such as farmhouse and business places were raided,” Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan, the information minister of Punjab province, told reporters on Saturday.
 
“He will be arrested at any cost... all are equal in the eye of the law,” the minister, who belongs to Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, added.
 
Police officials said that Niazi was not present in his house at the time of the raid.
 
Deteriorating security situation
 
Videos showing Niazi, a lawyer, participating in the Wednesday lawyers’ rally, went viral on social media.
 
Three patients died after some 200 lawyers stormed the Punjab Heart Institute hospital in the eastern Lahore city, vandalizing property and setting on fire a police van after a dispute with doctors.
 
Niazi, who admitted his involvement in the violent protest, initially expressed support for the rally but later distanced himself from the violent attack.
 
“My support and protest was limited to initiation of legal action against the concerned doctors. I only stand for peaceful protests. It’s a sad day and I condemn my own self for supporting this protest now,” he tweeted.
 


Police have arrested around 80 lawyers and PM Khan – who has not commented on his nephew – has ordered an inquiry into the riot.
 
Opposition parties accuse the prime minister of protecting his nephew, a claim denied by government officials.
 
Human rights groups have criticized the lawyers’ violent attack on a hospital and raised concerns about the deteriorating security situation in the country.