£190m case hearing put off till 21st

Khalid Iqbal
Saturday, Jun 15, 2024

ISLAMABAD: Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Ali Waraich on Friday postponed the hearing of the £190 million reference until June 21.

During the hearing, lawyers completed the cross-examination of one witness. The PTI founder expressed his anger at the presence of PMLN leader Barrister Daniyal in the courtroom, prompting the latter to leave. The case was heard at Adiala Jail.

PTI lawyers Salman Akram Raja, Niazullah Niazi, Ali Zafar, and Shoaib Shaheen were present in the court and completed the cross-examination of one witness. Four more witnesses have been called for cross-examination at the next hearing. The statements of 30 witnesses have been recorded in the reference, with the cross-examination of 22 completed.

During the hearing, the founding chairman of PTI got angry at the presence of PMLN MNA Daniyal Chaudhry and said, “Our MNAs are sitting outside, how did you come in?”

Daniyal then left the courtroom.

Meanwhile, former prime minister Imran Khan has said that there is no point in negotiating with a government that lacks authority.

During an informal conversation with the media at the hearing of the £190 million reference at Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail on Friday, he accused the administration of pressuring judges who rule in favour of the PTI and criticised the recent budget for burdening salaried individuals.

Addressing the budget, the PTI founder highlighted that Pakistan needs to generate Rs13 trillion in revenue, with Rs9.8 trillion allocated to debt interest payments. He predicted the necessity of borrowing Rs7.5 trillion to cover the budget deficit, warning that the country is already sinking. “Investment, which hinges on the rule of law, is the only salvation, yet this year saw the lowest investment in 50 years,” he said.

Khan warned that the country’s future looks bleak and criticised the additional tax burden on salaried individuals. Denying claims that the PTI avoids negotiations, he recounted past dialogue during Pervez Musharraf’s regime but pointed out that negotiations are futile when decisions are made by “higher authorities.”

He mentioned an instance when the PTI had negotiated with the PDM at the request of ex-Chief Justice Bandial, only to be told that no elections would take place as long as Bandial was in office.

In a stern message to his party, Khan demanded an end to internal groupings, calling it a matter of life and death for Pakistan. “I will take strict action against anyone creating factions within the party,” he warned.

When asked by a journalist if he wanted the establishment to appoint a representative for negotiations, Imran Khan left without answering the question.