PAKISTAN: On Tuesday, the Islamabad High Court suspended the non-bailable arrest warrant against Pakistan’s former Prime Minister, Imran Khan, till March 13. All this was issued in light of his inability to appear in front of a sessions court for the fourth time with regard to the Toshakhana case.
Additional sessions on February 28, Judge Zafar Iqbal issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for failing to appear in court on a regular basis. Imran Khan’s residence at Lahore’s Zaman Park was raided thereafter by Islamabad police, but they were not successful as they could not find the prime minister anywhere. Judge Iqbal rejected his plea after Khan requested the court suspend the orders.
The Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court, Aamer Farooq, agreed to the plea initiated by the ousted Prime Minister, who had earlier urged for his warrant to be arrested. Zafar Iqbal had a day before disregarded Khan’s request for the suspension of his arrest warrant, which is essentially non-bailable.
The session court, following the high court’s decision, ordered Imran Khan to attend and appear at the session where he will be formally accused. Chief Justice Farooq presided over the hearing, during which Khan’s lawyer, Qaisar Imam, argued that the crude attempts on former Pakistan PM’s life could take place in a local court.
CJ mentioned, “You are being called before the court to testify. Any order that is not in line with custom would not be issued by me. For indictment, Imran Khan would have to show up in person.”
The Chief Justice also highlighted the large turnout of crowds at the Lahore High Court, specifically noting that this would create a tense situation. “A large audience had gathered. Who knows who arrived with what purpose?” he said.
The court adjourned the hearing until the Islamabad High Court issued orders, and the lower court asked Imran Khan to appear before it on March 13 for indictment in accordance with the high court’s orders.
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