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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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Abrarul Haq, Saifullah Nyazee quit PTI as wickets continue to fall

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Expressing their regret over the May 9 mayhem, two more Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders — singer-turned-politician Abrarul Haq and Senator Saifullah Niazi — on Friday announced quitting the party.

The PTI leaders’ mass exodus started when the security forces launched a crackdown against the party following the attacks on the civil and military institutions, including the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and the Lahore Corps Commander’s House (Jinnah House). 

The riots were triggered by PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s arrest from Islamabad High Court in the Al-Qadir Trust graft case on May 9 — a day the army dubbed as “Black Day”.

Addressing a presser in Lahore, Haq said: “I regret standing with Imran Khan.”

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Imran Khan can be tried in military courts: interior minister

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  • Pakistan Army Act, Official Secrets Act applicable to activities in military areas: minister.
  • “Many sensitive items were also present in Lahore Corps Commanders House.”
  • Says “only 6” out of nearly 500 cases are being processed to be tried under Army Act.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said Friday that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s possible trial in connection with the May 9 mayhem falls under the jurisdiction of military courts.

Talking to a media outlet, he said the Pakistan Army Act was applicable to all those who entered, sent other people, or abetted those who entered restricted areas.

Sanaullah said the Pakistan Army Act and the Official Secrets Act were applicable to activities in military areas. “The Jinnah House is the residence of the [Lahore] corps commander and his camp office. Many sensitive items were also present in Jinnah House.”

The minister was referring to the attack on the Jinnah House by enraged PTI workers on May 9 following Khan’s arrest in the Al-Qadir Trust case. During the days-long protest, private and public properties were vandalised in cities across the country and PTI workers also attacked military installations, including the Jinnah House and the General Headquarters (GHQ) entrance.

The military has dubbed May 9 a “Black Day” and insisted that all those involved in the vandalism of military installations would be tried under the Pakistan Army Act and the Official Secrets Act. Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir has said the legal process in this regard has been started.

Earlier today, Sanaullah said that “only six” out of nearly 500 cases filed after the May 9 vandalism are being processed to be tried under the Army Act, rejecting the perception created by the PTI that all of those arrested will face military courts.

“The remaining will be tried by ordinary courts,” he said in a presser today in a bid to clear the air regarding the government’s crackdown against those allegedly involved in the May 9 mayhem.

“Various analyses and conspiracies have been spreading … so I thought it best to appear here and state the facts and figures,” Sanaullah said.

Sharing details about the legal action taken so far against the vandals who had attacked government and military installations, the interior minister said that following the riots, 499 First Information Reports (FIRs) had been registered in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

“Of these, 88 have been registered under the Anti-Terrorism Act [ATA], while 411 have been registered on other charges.”

Sanaullah further shared that 3,944 suspects had been arrested in the two provinces, adding 2,588 of them were taken into custody from Punjab, while 1,099 were arrested by KP authorities.

The interior minister added that another 5,536 arrests were made in other cases; however, of these, 80% have been released on bail.

Moreover, in a bid to clear the air regarding the military courts, he categorically denied rumours that all cases would be tried by military courts and explained that only seven of the 499 cases are being processed to be tried in military courts.

“It is being said that everything is being taken to military courts. This is not true. Only 19 accused have been transferred to military courts in Punjab and 14 in KP. Nowhere else are these measures being taken,” he clarified.

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Maleeka Bokhari joins long list of PTI deserters

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  • “Events of May 9 painful for every Pakistani,” Maleeka Bokhari says.
  • “There’s no pressure on me to leave the party,” Bokhari says.
  • “I also want to spend time with my family,” ex-lawmaker says.

ISLAMABAD: Maleeka Bokhari, a former parliamentarian, Thursday announced quitting the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), joining a long list of leaders to desert the party following the May 9 riots.

“I condemn the events that transpired on May 9. For every Pakistani, the events that took place on May 9 are very painful,” the former member of the National Assembly said in a press conference in Islamabad.

Announcing her “dissociation” from the party, Bokhari said she wasn’t under duress and “no one forced me into making this decision”.

“As a lawyer, I want to play a positive role in Pakistan. I also want to spend time with my family,” she said.

Bokhari quit the party hours after her release from Adiala Jail, where she was sent after being arrested under Section 4 of the Maintenance of Public Order.

Khan’s party has been feeling the heat of the state’s might after his party workers burnt and smashed military installations, including the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, after his arrest on May 9 — a day the army dubbed as “Black Day”.

Several party leaders and thousands of workers have been rounded up in connection with the violent protests and the army has insisted that the people involved in attacks on military installations be tried under the Pakistan Army Act and the Official Secrets Act.

A close aide of Khan, Asad Umar, has relinquished his posts of secretary general and core committee member, citing the ongoing situation.

Several party leaders and lawmakers — including Shireen Mazari, Aamir Mehmood Kiani, Malik Amin Aslam, Mahmood Moulvi, Aftab Siddiqui, Fayyazul Hassan Chohan among others — have publicly denounced the attacks on the state installations and announced leaving the former ruling party since the May 9 vandalism.

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said the federal government was considering imposing a ban on the PTI after receiving evidence that the party’s supporters carried out “pre-planned” and “coordinated” attacks on public properties and military installations.

In her presser, Bokhari backed the authorities’ decision to investigate the May 9 events and said the people behind the violent events should be punished.

“When a red line has been crossed, then action should be taken in line with the law,” she added.

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