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Islamabad court issues arrest warrant for Imran Khan in Toshakhana case

- Pakistan
February 28, 2023

ISLAMABAD: In a major development, a court in the federal capital issued on Tuesday a non-bailable arrest warrant for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case.

Additional sessions judge Zafar Iqbal issued the arrest warrant.

Earlier, the PTI chair secured interim bail in two different cases — the prohibited funding and terror cases — after he arrived at the judicial complex in Islamabad to attend hearings of the cases.

The former prime minister appeared before an anti-terrorism court and a banking court separately.

ATC judge Raja Jawad heard the terror case and granted bail till March 9 against the submission of surety bonds worth Rs100,000.

Meanwhile, judge Rakhshanda Shaheen confirmed Khan’s bail in the prohibited funding case.

The Islamabad police had registered terror cases against PTI leaders, including Khan, after the party workers took to the streets and vandalized state property following his disqualification in the Toshakhana reference.

The cases — filed under 7ATA along with other sections of the PPC — were filed at different police stations in the federal capital in which hundreds of PTI workers and leaders were named for blocking roads and attacking police personnel at the behest of Khan, Asad Umar, Ali Nawaz Awan and others.

Meanwhile, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on October 2022 booked the PTI chief for allegedly receiving prohibited funding.

The ECP, in a unanimous verdict on August 2022, had announced that the PTI received prohibited funding. The case was earlier referred to as the “foreign funding” case, but later the election commission accepted the PTI’s plea to refer to it as the “prohibited funding” case.

Khan was scheduled to appear before three courts today to attend the hearings of multiple cases. These included a prohibited funding case in a banking court, an anti-terrorism case, and the Toshakhana and an attempt to murder cases in the same court.

Earlier, as Khan arrived at the judicial complex in the federal capital, a large number of PTI workers entered the building by knocking its gate down,

Security arrangements at Sector G-11 of the judicial complex were disrupted as the PTI workers removed all barriers. Meanwhile, security was also tightened at the katchehri.

Toshakhana hearing

The district and sessions court heard the Toshakhana case against the PTI chairman earlier today.

Khan’s lawyer Ali Bukhari and the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) lawyer Saad Hasan were present in court.

The hearing of the case was conducted by judge Zafar Iqbal.

Khan’s lawyer informed the court that the former has left Lahore a while ago. “Imran Khan has to appear before two courts in the judicial complex,” he added.

He said that Khan will not be able to appear in this court today.

Bukhari requested the court to adjourn the hearing for five days.

“Why is it that Imran can appear in 11 courts but not at the catcher?” inquired the judge.

The court will frame charges against him so he should come here and then leave, he remarked.

“Khawaja Haris is Imran Khan’s lawyer in this case and he is not available to appear in this court today,” he added.

The judge sought Khan once again in the Toshakhana case today.

Both of Khan’s lawyers — Ali Bukhari and Sardar Masroof — were seemingly giving contradictory statements about Khan’s arrival.

Attempt to murder case

The attempt to murder case against Khan was filed by a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader. PML-N leader Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha filed a case against the former prime minister last year at the Secretariat Police Station in the federal capital.

The case was filed a day after Ranjha was allegedly attacked outside the ECP office, where PTI workers and supporters were protesting the electoral body’s verdict that resulted in the disqualification of their party chief in the Toshakhana case.

At the last hearing, a district and sessions court rejected on Monday the former prime minister’s petition seeking a transfer of the hearing of the attempted murder case to the judicial complex.

Additional sessions judge Zafar Iqbal heard the case today. Khan’s lawyer Sardar Masroof attended the hearing.

During the hearing, the judge inquired when the PTI chief will come.

The lawyer replied that Khan is on his way to Islamabad from Lahore by road and will come within the court’s time.

“Imran Khan will go to the banking court first and then will come here,” he said, adding that he is unable to contact the PTI chief and hence, cannot give an exact time of his arrival.

At this, the plaintiff’s lawyer asked for an exact time, saying that “we cannot wait for you.”

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