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‘I don’t need to lie,’ Imran Khan says after ISPR rejects allegations

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  • “This is my army, my Pakistan,” says PTI chief.
  • Imran Khan “mentally prepared to be arrested”.
  • Remarks came after ISPR’s warning against maligning military.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Tuesday referred to the Pakistan Army and the country as his own stating he doesn’t “need to lie”.

“This is my army and my Pakistan. I don’t need to lie,” the PTI chief said in a video statement shared on PTI’s social media channels, before leaving for the federal capital to attend hearings of his bail applications for two cases against him at the Islamabad High Court.

Khan comments came a day after the army rebuked him for hurling “irresponsible and baseless allegations” against a senior military officer, who is currently serving in the armed forces.

“[The] chairman PTI has levelled highly irresponsible and baseless allegations against a serving senior military officer without any evidence,” Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director-General Major General Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry said in a statement, as the politician continued his tirade against the establishment.

The military spokesperson said the politician should refrain from making baseless allegations and warned that if such a trend continues, the army had the right to take legal action.

Following an attempted assassination attack on him in November last year, the former prime minister — who was ousted from office through a no-confidence motion in April 2022 — claimed that a senior military officer, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah were behind the attack, all of whom rejected the allegations. Khan also did not provide any evidence to the authorities so far.

Commenting on the likelihood of going to jail, the PTI chief said: “If someone has a warrant, they should directly bring it to me. Bring the warrant, my lawyer will be there. I’m ready to go to the jail myself.”

The former premier, while demanding that he be approached through a warrant, urged against staging any drama.

“There is no case against me. I’m mentally prepared to be arrested. If I have to go to jail, I’m ready,” Khan said.

The cricketer-turned-politician said that the nation knows him for the last 50 years. 

“I am currently the head of the country’s largest party.”

Section 144 imposed prior to Khan’s arrival

Imran Khan is scheduled to appear for a hearing on his bail applications at the IHC, which will take place at 2:30pm.

Ahead of Khan’s arrival at the court, Section 144 has been imposed in the federal capital and Islamabad Police have made strict security arrangements, closing the roads around the IHC for general traffic.

Under Section 144’s restrictions, any type of gathering is deemed illegal.

“The G-10 turn and Aun Muhammad Rizvi road will remain closed,” the Islamabad Police said.

The registrar’s office, too, has issued a circular for security arrangements.

According to the registrar’s circular, entry of lawyers and journalists in courtroom number one will be through special passes, while the judicial staff and court’s employees will be exempt from special passes.

Only 15 lawyers will be allowed to go to the courtroom with Khan, as per the circular. Whereas, 10 lawyers will be permitted from the Attorney General for Pakistan and Advocate General for Islamabad’s office.

Meanwhile, 30 members of the Islamabad High Court Journalists Association (IHCJA) will be able to enter the courtroom.

The administration has been asked not to stop those with special passes and department cards from entering the court’s premises. Those possessing the special card will be allowed to enter courtroom number one, the circular read.

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PTI received unwelcome respite, according to Rana Sanaullah

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In the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) reserved seat dispute, the government would respect the majority ruling of the Supreme Court, according to PMLN senior leader and advisor on political affairs Rana Sanaullah Khan.

He stated that after examining the decision, the government’s legal team would react appropriately. According to Rana Sanaullah, the legal team would determine whether or not to submit a review petition.

“SIC petitions were rejected but PTI was given that relief which was neither asked in the petition nor contest during the proceeding,” asserted Rana Sanaullah in response to the ruling.

He argued that because parties established administrations with a simple majority, the PMLN-led unity movement did not have a two-thirds majority.

According to Rana Sanaullah, PTI should challenge election tribunal rulings, with the government carrying out the rulings.

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The membership of Sher Afzal Marwat has been suspended by PTI.

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According to sources, PTI officials convened with imprisoned party founder Imran Khan on Thursday to make a decision over Marwat.

The party authorities alleged that Sher Afzal Marwat had been consistently breaching party discipline over the past month.

“In the meeting with Imran Khan, it was mutually agreed that no leader holds a superior position within the party, and any other leaders who deviate from the party’s stance will face similar consequences,” they stated.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has recently issued a show-cause notice to Sher Afzal Marwat due to his irresponsible utterances.

The notice, issued by PTI Secretary General Omar Ayub Khan, requires Marwat to provide an explanation for his utterances within a three-day period. These statements have been considered harmful to the party’s reputation.

The notification declares that making such utterances goes against the party’s code of conduct and contravenes the explicit directives of the party’s founder, Imran Khan, who has underscored the significance of accountable conduct.

Marwat was cautioned that if they fail to react or offer a satisfactory explanation, it could result in additional disciplinary measures.

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Supporting phone tapping for “national security,” Khawaja Asif

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In the continuous fight against terrorism, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif has stated that he is a strong supporter of security agencies’ phone tapping practices.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, particularly party head Omer Ayub, criticized and engaged in contentious arguments following Asif’s statements.

The significance of phone tapping for national security was emphasized by Khawaja Asif in an interview with a foreign media source. “Terrorism is the enemy that we fight. Given the circumstances, I will be in favor of phone tapping,” he said.

Noting that the phone tapping matter is presently being handled through the legal system, he further urged that everyone support the measure. “Phone tapping is necessary for national security,” he asserted.

By highlighting the PTI’s erratic position on the issue, the defense minister also rejected the party’s concerns as hypocritical.

Every action, whether legal and illegal, seemed acceptable to Imran Khan, the founder of the Pakistan Taliban, when he was on good terms with the authorities.” Asif said, “The same thing is hateful to his followers today.”

In order to prevent terrorism and protect national security, Asif emphasized the importance of phone tapping. Under the present conditions, I will be in favor of phone tapping. The fight against terrorism required it, he declared. In these difficult circumstances, he also urged detractors to think about the wider effects of security precautions.

After former prime minister Imran Khan complained about his phone being tapped, Asif hinted that the PTI’s present protests are politically motivated by pointing to earlier instances in which they had a positive relationship with the establishment.

For the purpose of maintaining national security and preventing any criminal activity, the central government granted Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the nation’s premier spy agency, permission to tap phones on July 8. A notification stating that Section 54 of the Pakistan Telecommunication Act 1996 permits ISI to record phone calls has been issued. Anything that falls under the notification category can be recorded by it.

The notice included a call recording feature in addition to the ability to track messages and calls. Subject to the prime minister’s approval, ISI personnel ranked 18th or higher are granted this authority. It will be feasible to record WhatsApp calls, SMS, and other applications in addition to cell calls, the release states.

Notably, on June 30, Justice Babar Sattar of the Islamabad High Court said that it is legally unlawful to monitor civilians in any way in the case of the audio leaks involving the son of former chief justice Saqib Nisar and Bushra Bibi. According to his ruling, the prime minister and the cabinet bear both collective and individual responsibility for the widespread surveillance of four million citizens carried out by the federal government through the system.

The prime minister should acquire intelligence agency reports and bring the issue before the cabinet, the court judgment stated. Furthermore, according to the decision, the prime minister must report to the court on the Lawful Management System within six weeks.

“The prime minister will tell whether the surveillance of citizens is going on against the law and constitution,” the court stated.

Along with identifying who is in charge of the surveillance system that is interfering with citizens’ privacy, he should also disclose who installed the Lawful Interception Management System and mass surveillance. By July 5, all telecom firms were ordered by the court to submit their reports about the Lawful Interception Management System.

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