— Photographer and supporters of former prime minister arrested on way to hearing
ISLAMABAD: Imran Khan, former prime minister and chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party, has been granted interim bail in seven cases registered against him following a police crackdown on his supporters outside the judicial complex on March 18 by the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
In petitions filed at the court, Khan requested protective bail in the cases registered at various police stations across the capital, which are all linked to the clampdown outside the complex where he appeared in the foreign gifts, or Toshakhana, case.
The petitions, filed through Barrister Salman Safdar, argued that Khan would suffer “irreparable loss” if he were to be arrested. They also said that as the head of the largest political party, there is an apprehension that Khan’s opponents could further their political ambitions and nefarious designs if he is not granted bail.
A two-member bench of the court, Aamer Farooq and Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, has taken up the petitions.
During the hearing, Safdar argued that the bio-metric verification objection should not be imposed on individuals over the age of 60. Justice Farooq responded by saying that bio-metric verification has become much easier now.
The lawyer explained that they had acquired protective bail for the PTI chairman from the Lahore High Court (LHC), after which they arrived at the judicial complex but were not allowed to proceed further. He further said that additional FIRs against Khan were filed that day.
Justice Farooq asked Safdar why they bypassed the trial court and came straight to the IHC. The lawyer responded he would present the Supreme Court’s judgments on this matter.
The justice also said the security threats to Khan must be genuine as he had been attacked once, and the court had asked the chief election commissioner to provide security to him several times.
Jahangir Khan Jadoon, advocate general for Islamabad, said the trial court was shifted to the judicial complex from a local court in F8 sector. He also held Khan responsible for not ensuring a peaceful environment, pointing out that people had burned cars while he did not even get out of the car.
Justice Farooq inquired what the petitioner would do if the administration gave irresponsible statements, to which he replied that party would arrange its own security if the administration did not provide it.
Finally, the judges granted interim bail to Khan, following which he left the high court.
Earlier in the day, a video posted on the opposition party’s Twitter account showed Khan entering the court premises, surrounded by a large contingent of Islamabad police.
عمران خان کمرہ عدالت کی طرف روانہ۔
— PTI (@PTIofficial) March 27, 2023
Meanwhile, supporters and workers of the party have been arrested ahead of the hearing. According to Shireen Mazari, a party leader and former minister, Khan’s photographer, Imran G, and three other people were taken into police custody while on their way to the court.
She tweeted that the four individuals were “unarmed civilians” and had been arrested without committing any crime. The group was allegedly taken to Ramna police station.
These 4 unarmed civilians, one of whom is our official photographer, were with IK car on way to IHC & were arrested without having committed any crime & now apparently taken to Ramna police station. Then we are targeted for criticising the ICT police! pic.twitter.com/ox8oWOoMC5
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) March 27, 2023
Separately, videos on Twitter showed party supporters being taken away by individuals wearing civilian attire.
The party expressed concern over the arrests and questioned why individuals not in uniform were putting their supporters in prison vans. However, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Hasan Wattoo claimed that a total of 13 people have been arrested thus far.
http error 500 hatası http error 500
http error 500 hatası http error 500