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‘Don’t downplay seriousness of terrorism charges,’ IHC CJ tells govt in terror case against Imran Khan

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The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday told the government not to downplay charges as serious as terrorism while questioning whether PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s speech against a female judge and Islamabad police warrants the offence.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah made the remarks while hearing a plea seeking dismissal of the terror case against PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

Khan was booked in a case under sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ACT) for making threatening remarks against an additional sessions judge and senior officials of the Islamabad Police in his speech at a rally.

The party had moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to grant Khan transit bail till August 25, but the court had directed the former premier to approach an ATC as it was a terror case.

The FIR registered against Khan states that he threatened Additional Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry and police officers at a rally in F-9 Park to “terrorise” police officials and the judiciary.

The main aim was to prevent the police officers and judiciary from carrying out their legal obligations, states the FIR. The FIR was registered on the complaint of Magistrate Ali Javed in Islamabad’s Margalla Police Station under Section 7 of ATA.

Today’s hearing

A two-member bench comprising IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Saman Rifat conducted hearing on PTI’s plea.

At the outset of the hearing, the Justice Minallah said that the court had ordered Imran Khan to join the investigation and asked the investigation officer to guide the court on whether the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) is applicable to the former premier’s statement.

“Do not confuse things, as a separate case of contempt of court is under trial against Imran Khan,” the chief justice said.

At this, the special prosecutor informed the court that Khan appeared before the joint investigation team (JIT) to record his statement on Wednesday.

Following the court’s directives, Abbasi read the transcript of Imran Khan’s “threatening” speech at the rally, contending that sections of ATA apply to the words used in the speech.

“Is there anything else other than his [Imran Khan] speech? This allegation is of a very serious nature. There is a Supreme Court verdict on the matter,” Justice Minallah said.

“The speech was absolutely wrong, with inappropriate words used, but does not warrant terrorism charges,” the judge remarked.

“Don’t downplay the seriousness of terrorism charges,” IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah said, while responding to the arguments of the special prosecutor.

The IHC adjourned the hearing till September 19, while directing the JIT officials to meet and then inform the court about the developments in the probe on Monday (September 19).

What did Imran Khan say?

At a rally at the F-9 park in Islamabad, the PTI chair had warned that he would “not spare” Islamabad’s inspector-general, deputy inspector general, and female magistrate, vowing to file cases against them for allegedly torturing PTI leader Shahbaz Gill.

“We will not spare the IG and DIG,” he said while addressing the rally. The former prime minister called out Additional District and Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry, who had approved Gill’s two-day physical remand at the request of the capital police, and said she, too, should prepare herself as a case will also be registered against her.

The ex-PM led the rally in support of incarcerated leader Gill, who the party alleged was subjected to “gruesome torture” in police custody.

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The Pakistan Army’s pivotal role in the socioeconomic development of Balochistan

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Along with the province administration, the Pakistan Army has played a key role in leading a number of socioeconomic projects. A determined effort has been undertaken to solve the issues and utilise the potential of the province, realising the intrinsic relationship between the development of Balochistan and the advancement of Pakistan overall.

In the face of security problems, the Pakistan Army has adopted a multipronged strategy that includes peacekeeping as well as socioeconomic development. By means of focused awareness initiatives, communities have been motivated to seize mainstream chances, which has resulted in the voluntary surrender of militants and opened the door to a peaceful cohabitation.

The Army and the Balochistani administration have placed a high priority on the construction of educational facilities, particularly in outlying areas, recognising the role that education plays as a catalyst for advancement. By equipping the public with the knowledge and skills necessary for a better future, this strategic focus seeks to free the people from the hold of extremism.

In addition, the Pakistan Army’s unflinching security has helped to usher in a new era of growth, supported by strategic initiatives like the Gwadar Port and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The Army’s actions to protect CPEC projects have received international recognition, and the Chinese Minister of National Defence has praised them for their commitment to regional peace.

The Reko Diq project is a highly promising venture that has the potential to become the largest gold and copper mine globally. This grand project has the potential to reduce Pakistan’s debt load and spark massive economic expansion, drawing in international capital and improving the nation’s economic prospects.

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$13.44 billion in liquid foreign reserves

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The State Bank’s foreign reserves were $8,040.3 million, whereas Pakistan’s total liquid foreign reserves as of the week ending April 5, 2024, were US$ 13,441.7 million.

The State Bank of Pakistan said that during the week under review, the central bank’s foreign exchange reserves dropped by $0.1 million to $8,040.3 million in a statement released here on Monday.

It further stated that commercial banks’ net foreign reserves were reported to be $5,401.4 million.

The nation’s total liquid foreign reserves as of the previous week, which concluded on March 29, 2024, were $13,378.9 million.

These included the $8,040.4 million in foreign reserves held by the central bank and the $5,338.5 million in net foreign reserves held by commercial banks.

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Today, IHC will hear Qureshi, the founder of PTI,’s arguments against his conviction in the CCI case.

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The PTI founder and Shah Mehmood Qureshi will appeal their convictions in the cipher case to the Islamabad High Court today (Tuesday).

The hearing will be conducted by a division bench that consists of Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Chief Justice Aamir Farooq of the Islamabad High Court.

The attorneys will present their arguments regarding the appeals against the sentencing during the hearing.

However, Bushra Bibi, the wife of the PTI founder, has filed a petition to have her medical examined, and this plea will also be heard today.

Bushra Bibi’s application will be considered by Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb. The petitioner has voiced her concern that the food she was provided was toxic.

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