President Arif Alvi believes that the government will be playing with fire if it resorts to arresting Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan — as speculations are rife after PTI Senior Vice President’s arrest.

In a conversation with senior journalists on Thursday, the president, in response to a question about Khan’s arrest by the incumbent government, said: “It will be tantamount to setting a fire [fuelling anarchy in the country].”

The president said that arresting the former primer minister or any senior politician would lead to “resistance”, hinting at instability if the government tries to detain its opponents.

Fawad, a former federal minister, was arrested from his Lahore residence in the wee hours of Wednesday after he publicly “threatened” the members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and their families in a media talk a day earlier.

He was then taken to Islamabad, where the capital’s police were granted a two-day remand of the PTI leader in the sedition case. His arrest drew strong criticism within the federal government’s ranks — which, although, has denied involvement.