IHC announces Toshakhana verdict today

Awais Yousafzai & Mumtaz Alvi
Tuesday, Aug 29, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday reserved a verdict on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s plea seeking suspension of sentence by the trial court’s Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Humayun Dilawar in the Toshakhana case.

A two-member bench, comprising Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, conducted the hearing, with Election Commission of Pakistan’s lawyer, Amjad Parvez, who wasn’t able to appear before the court due to ill health at the last hearing on Friday, presented his arguments in the case.

The IHC will announce the verdict today (Tuesday) at 11am. Last week , the court had adjourned the hearing till Monday (today) on the request of his assistant counsel and ordered the ECP counsel to present arguments today. It had also directed the electoral authority to make alternative arrangements due to the unavailability of the lawyer. PTI lawyer, Latif Khosa, completed his arguments in the last hearing. Earlier this month, a trial court had sentence Khan to three-year in prison and imposed a fine of Rs100,000 earlier this month. Khan challenged the verdict and approached the IHC for his release and suspension of the conviction. ECP, meanwhile, had filed a private complaint against Khan in the same case.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Core Committee expressed serious concern over the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) ‘inordinate delay’ in issuing the verdict on PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s plea of suspending the Thoshakhana case sentence. It also announced to take part in the countrywide protests against ‘back-breaking inflation and bloated power bills’. Airing apprehension over IHC’s ‘unnecessary delay’ in the decision to suspend the Toshakhana case verdict, the PTI Core Committee said the nation was well aware that the state had no legal justification to keep Imran Khan in jail. It said that the ‘hidden revenge agenda’ was exposed in the ‘black verdict’ given through a controversial Toshakhana trial. They also regretted that the Supreme Court (SC) allowed the electoral watchdog to waste court time and deprive Imran Khan of his constitutional rights. The participants of the core committee meeting said that the delay in justice was tantamount to its murder and the nation demanded an immediate stop to playing with the constitution and the law. The PTI expressed optimism that the high court would issue an order to suspend Imran’s sentence. The Core Committee also strongly condemned the extension in the remand of Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi for another two days and the continued violation of the constitutional and legal rights of PTI President Chaudhry Pervez Elahi. It also demanded an immediate recovery and release of ‘abducted’ Senator Aon Abbas Buppi and detained Hassaan Niazi along with others illegally imprisoned in false and fabricated cases. The participants of the meeting also demanded the immediate release of the women leaders and activists imprisoned for crushing PTI.

The PTI core committee vowed to undertake political and legal measures to ensure the instant release of all leaders and workers including the PTI Chairman and that they would not budge an inch from their principled position of upholding the supremacy of the constitution and law, the restoration and promotion of democracy, the protection of the economic and political rights of the people. During the meeting, they also decided that the PTI would participate in the nationwide protest against the worst inflation, especially the bloated electricity bills. They said that the rapid spread of poverty and starvation in the country and fast eroding public purchasing power were the gifts of the criminal government of the PDM alliance comprising PML-N, PPP and JUI-F among others. They were of the view that when the PTI-elected government was toppled through conspiracy, the people were satisfied as the economy was growing at the rate of 6 percent. However, the ‘culprits’ imposed as a result of the regime change conspiracy reversed all the PTI government’s hard gains and became the source of the worst inflation and economic destruction in the country, they said. The PTI committee recalled that Imran Khan had been constantly pointing out PDM’s failure to manage the economy and save the people from the storm of inflation. It maintained that Imran Khan would be the voice of the people against the worst inflation and unbearable electricity bills, as the PTI would fully participate in the public protests. Reiterating that free, fair, transparent and immediate elections were the sole answer to the problems facing the country, the participants of the meeting urged the caretaker government to hold immediate polls to hand over the power to the legitimate and elected government.