Imran gets interim bail from IHC in six cases till April 7

Awais Yousafzai ** Obaid Abrar Khan
Tuesday, Mar 28, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan hit back at Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah over his controversial statement, wherein the latter claimed that either Khan or he would remain in the national politics.

In reply to a reporter’s question about the controversial statement, Khan said: “My wish is that both [he and Rana Sanaullah] remain, but if he [Rana Sana] is saying that, then I will just say that he won’t remain.”

Former premier informally talking to the media at the Islamabad High Court said, “For politicians, the doors for talks remain open; those who have been playing by collaborating with the umpire, what they would know what was a level playing field.”

The PTI chief said if the ‘unknown’ [namaloom] withdraw the support today, this government would collapse immediately.

To another question he said talks could take place [with the government], but only on one-point agenda, i.e. holding of elections. He regretted that there was no rule of law in the country. “Azhar Maswani has been arrested. Hassan was granted bail and even then he was arrested again,” he complained.

Earlier today, the PTI chief arrived at IHC from Lahore, to seek pre-arrest bail in different cases registered against him in the federal capital. The Islamabad High Court granted him interim bail in seven different cases till April 6.

A bench, headed by IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, heard the case. Khan sought bail in seven cases registered against him following the vandalism at the judicial complex during his last visit to the federal capital. Multiple cases were registered against the former prime minister at Islamabad’s Ramna, CTD and Golra police stations.

At the outset of the hearing, Khan’s lawyer Barrister Salman Safdar appeared in the court and contended that the objection related to biometric verification should not be imposed on individuals above the age of 60.

At this, Justice Farooq remarked that the biometric verification had become very easy now. The lawyer maintained that they had acquired PTI chief’s protective bail from the Lahore High Court (LHC) after which they arrived at the judicial complex, but they were not allowed to move further.

“More FIRs against Imran Khan were lodged that day,” he added. The IHC CJ asked the lawyer to clarify why had they bypassed a forum to reach the IHC.

“Why didn’t you go to the trial court first when you have to go there ultimately,” he asked. The lawyer replied that he would present Supreme Court’s judgements in this regard.

After this, Khan proceeded to the rostrum; however, CJ Farooq directed him to stay seated. Responding to the argument of Khan’s lawyer, the justice said that the security threats to the former premier must be genuine as he had been attacked once.

Justice Hassan remarked that the court had asked the chief election commissioner several times to provide security to Khan. Islamabad Advocate-General Jahangir Jadoon maintained that the trial court was shifted to the judicial complex from F8 kutchehri court. “Imran Khan has the responsibility to ensure a peaceful environment. He did not even get off the car and people burned cars,” he said.

Justice Farooq remarked what the petitioner would do if the administration gave irresponsible statements. “They [PTI] will arrange its own security if you [administration] do not provide it. Two prime ministers of Pakistan had been assassinated and one was attacked,” the justice remarked.

The court then granted interim bail to Khan and sought reply from the federal government, after which the PTI chairman left the high court. Earlier, as the PTI chief moved towards Islamabad, a petition was filed in IHC by his lawyers seeking pre-arrest bail in the multiple cases registered in different police stations of the federal capital.

The plea urged the court to stop the federal government from arresting the PTI chief in those cases, adding that the cases had been registered for political reasons. However, the IHC registrar office attached objections to the petitions, as the plea lacked the PTI chief’s biometric.

“How can a petition be filed in a high court before [it is filed] in a trial court,” asked the registrar office. Later, when the PTI chief arrived at the court, his biometric was conducted. The biometric objection was then removed and the plea was admitted for hearing with other objections. When the PTI chief was asked by a report if he was satisfied with the security arrangements, Khan responded: “There is no security, it is our security.”