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IHC grants Imran Khan interim bail in seven cases

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ISLAMABAD: In a major relief to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, the Islamabad High Court granted him interim bail in seven different cases against him till April 6.

A bench headed by IHC CJ Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb is hearing the case. 

The PTI chief had arrived at IHC from Lahore, earlier today, to seek pre-arrest bail in different cases registered against him in the federal capital. 

The PTI chief is seeking bail in seven cases registered against him following the vandalism at the judicial complex during his last visit to the federal capital. 

Multiple cases were registered against the former prime minister at Islamabad’s Ramna, CTD and Golra police stations.

The hearing

At the outset of the hearing, Khan’s lawyer Barrister Salman Safdar appeared in the court and contended that the objection related to bio-metric verification shouldn’t be imposed on individuals above the age of 60.

At this, Justice Farooq remarked that the bio-metric verification had become very easy now.

The lawyer maintained that they had acquired PTI chief’s protective bail from Lahore High Court (LHC) after which they arrived at the judicial complex but they weren’t allowed to move further.

“More FIRs against Imran Khan were lodged that day,” he added.

At this, IHC CJ asked the lawyer to clarify why had they bypassed a forum to reach IHC.

“Why didn’t you go to the trial court first when you have to go there ultimately,” he asked.

At this, the lawyer maintained that he would present Supreme Court’s judgements in this regard.

After this, Khan proceeded to the rostrum, however, CJ Farooq directed him to stay seated.

Responding to the argument of Khan’s lawyer, the justice said that the security threats to the former premier must be genuine as he had been attacked once.

Justice Hassan remarked that the court had asked the chief election commissioner to provide security to Khan several times.

At this, Islamabad Advocate-General Jahangir Jadoon maintained that the trial court was shifted to the judicial complex from F8 katchehri court.

“Imran Khan has the responsibility to ensure a peaceful environment. He didn’t even get off the car and people burned cars,” he said.

At this, Justice Farooq remarked what the petitioner would do if the administration gave irresponsible statements.

“They [PTI] will arrange its own security if you [administration] don’t provide it. Two prime ministers of Pakistan had been assassinated and one was attacked,” the justice remarked.

The court then granted interim bail to Khan, after which the PTI chairman left the high court.

Plea filed 

As the PTI chief moved towards Islamabad, a petition was filed in IHC by his lawyers seeking pre-arrest bail in the multiple cases registered in different police stations of the federal capital.

The plea urges the court to stop the federal government from arrest the PTI chief in those cases, adding that the cases have been registered for political revenge. 

However, the registrar office of the court has attached objections to the petitions as the plea lacks the PTI chief’s biometric. 

“How can a petition be filed in a high court before [it is filed] in a trial court,” asked the registrar office.

Later, when the PTI chief arrived at the premises his biometric was conducted. The biometric objection was then removed and the plea was admitted for hearing with other objections. 

Khan laments lack of security

When Geo News asked the PTI chief if he was satisfied with the security arrangements, Khan responded: “There is no security, it is our security,”

On a question about political dialogue, the PTI chief refused to speak about it. 

SSP to deal with security arrangements

Meanwhile, the Islamabad police tweeted that an important meeting was chaired by the inspector-general over the expected court appearance of Imran Khan to discuss security arrangements.

Senior officers, including the operations DIG and SSP, attended the meeting despite being injured. It was decided that field supervision of security arrangements will be taken care of by SSP Yasir Afridi.

Amir Kiyani has been entrusted with coordination on behalf of the PTI, while Malik Jameel Zafar will be the head of coordination between the police and PTI through Kiyani.

A central control room has been established at the Safe City Headquarters, the Islamabad police further shared.

Meanwhile, Section 144 is in force in Islamabad and violators will be arrested.

In light of court orders, only concerned persons will be allowed to enter the court premises, the police tweeted.

Earlier, the Islamabad police spokesperson had said there was no information regarding Imran Khan’s possible court appearance. He had said, however, that the Islamabad police would make security arrangements in light of court orders.

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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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