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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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36% of fresh faces make it to the National Assembly.

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Following the general elections of this year, a record 36% of new members have joined the National Assembly.

There are now 96 new legislators that have been elected to the assembly out of 265 total. In the general elections, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) has elected the most number of fresh faces as Independents.

Of the new faces, eleven PPP and MQM members, as well as fifteen PML-N members, have become MNAs for the first time. The IPP’s Abdul Aleem Khan and Awn Chaudhry were elected to the National Assembly for the first time.

Ataullah Tarar of the Pakistan Muslim League-N, Mir Jamal Khan Raisani, the party’s youngest member, was also elected from Balochistan for the first time and made it to the lower house.

Sher Afzal Marwat, Latif Khosa, and Barrister Gohar Ali Khan, who is supported by the PTI, are some of the fresh faces. In the last parliament, Shandana Gulzar had a reserved seat; however, this time, she was elected to a general seat.

Arshad Vohra, Syed Mustafa Kamal, and Rauf Siddiqui of the MQM were also elected to the National Assembly for the first time.

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Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri’s JUI-F resignation from the Senate

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Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani received the JUI-F leader’s resignation, which he accepted.

In the National Assembly, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri will be sworn in as a member.

Following their victories in the general elections on February 8 for the Balochistan Assembly, Senators Sarfraz Bugti and Prince Umar Ahmedzai had already announced their resignations from the Senate.

Prior carer Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani received the resignation of Federal Interior Minister Bugti, which he accepted.

In a similar vein, Senator Prince Umar Ahmedzai of the Balochistan Awami Party resigned from the Senate following his election to the provincial legislature.

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NA session: The interim government addresses President Alvi’s concerns

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Details indicate that in response, the federal government informed Dr. Arif Alvi that Article 91 of the 1973 Constitution does not grant the president the “discretion or power” to adjourn the National Assembly session.

The sources quoted the federal administration and said, “Nowhere in Article 91 is it written that if the House is incomplete, the National Assembly session cannot be convened.”

It further said that Article 54 of the constitution allowed the president to adjourn the National Assembly’s “ordinary” session alone. According to the summary, the president was requested to call an extraordinary session of the National Assembly so that the newly elected members may take an oath of office.

Dr. Arif Alvi was asked to reconsider his choice and call a meeting of the National Assembly by the acting federal government on February 29.

The sources quoted the federal government and stated, “It is not written anywhere in the constitution that if specific seats are not allotted, the session cannot be called.”

It further said that the National Assembly must be called within 21 days following the election in accordance with Clause 2 of Article 91 of the constitution.

The caretaker administration responded, saying, “Even if the President does not call the National Assembly session by February 29, it would still be held on the same day.”

Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf called a session of the National Assembly on Thursday, February 29th, in order to administer the oath to the newly elected Members of Congress earlier on Monday.

According to specifics, President Arif Alvi declined to call a meeting under clause 2 of Article 91 of the constitution, arguing that the lower body is still unfinished because a decision on certain reserved seats has not yet been made. Consequently, the Speaker National Assembly called the meeting.

The National Assembly’s maiden session was called by Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. The freshly elected members of the National Assembly would take the oath of office from the Speaker. During the first session, the election schedules for speaker and deputy speaker will also be released.

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