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LHC orders authorities not to ‘harass’ Imran Khan



  • High court to resume hearing of cases on May 2.
  • LHC rejected Khan’s plea to hear case at earliest.
  • “Petitioner should be treated as per law,” says court.

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court Tuesday ordered the authorities to not “harass” Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan while hearing his plea seeking the details of the cases registered against him and the possibility of a police operation by the government at his Zaman Park residence in Lahore during Eid holidays.

The court earlier reserved its verdict on the petition filed by Khan.

The PTI chief appeared at the court himself for the hearing along with other leaders of his party.

The verdict stated that Khan should be treated according to the law as per the assurance given by the Punjab Government lawyer.

“Imran Khan should not be illegally harassed until the next hearing,” the court mentioned in its verdict.

A day earlier, Khan informed the provincial top court regarding fears that the government may launch a fresh “operation” during Eidul Fitr holidays at his Zaman Park residence in a bid to arrest him.

The PTI chairman shared his concerns during a hearing on his petition seeking details of cases registered against him across the country.

Meanwhile, the court has rejected the former prime minister’s request for holding an urgent hearing on the plea.

Khan’s case has been fixed for hearing on May 2, the court stated and added that there is no need for an urgent hearing.

Today’s hearing

Justice Ali Baqar Najafi headed the five-member bench hearing the former premier’s plea.

During the hearing, Khan’s counsel Barrister Salman Safdar said that an application was earlier filed by his client seeking dismissal of cases registered against him.

“We had withdrawn that plea and submitted a new one. The petition was referred by a two-judge bench to the full bench here,” he said.

“We have seen the petition and nothing seems of an urgent nature in it,” Justice Najafi said addressing Khan’s lawyer and asked him to assist the court regarding the point.

The PTI chief’s counsel said that it is impossible to get involved in all the cases listed. “We have confirmed reports of an [police] operation to be conducted on the day of Eid. [We] need relief for the five days of Eid,” he said.

Justice Najafi said that the court’s doors never close when responding to Safdar.

Meanwhile, the Punjab government’s counsel said that he didn’t think the petition was admissible. “If any legal action is to be taken, then there is no law for permission to be taken from them [Imran Khan],” he added.

The provincial government’s lawyer further mentioned that law enforcement personnel work according to the law. He added that the law is same for everyone.

“The law is same for all,” Justice Najafi said.

The Punjab government’s counsel also rubbished Khan’s claims regarding the possibility of the operation during Eid and that proceedings, according to the law, will continue in cases which already exist.

The high court’s judge asked the government’s lawyer if Khan will be allowed to celebrate Eid at his home after which the court echoed with laughter.

“We are not asking to stop an investigation,” Justice Ali Neelam said, adding that Khan be informed if there is any case he isn’t aware about in order to seek bail.

He should know about his cases, the provincial government’s lawyer said.

The court asked him about the number of cases for which a joint investigation team was formed.

“A JIT has been constituted to investigated 10 cases,” the government’s lawyer added.

He further said that the residents of Zaman Park are living in difficulty, as they cannot move around.

“We will work according to the law. Nothing will be illegal,” the Punjab’s lawyer said.

Justice Amjad Rafiq said that the investigation can also be suspended if there is no chance of the accused escaping, according to Section 157.

“This is the prerogative of the investigation officer. Petrol bombs were used there, our personnel were injured,” the government’s counsel said.

Khan, after his arrival at the rostrum, said he feared confirmed action from the words used by the Punjab government’s lawyer. “They attacked my house for 26 hours. I have confirmed information that they will conduct an operation.”

“We do not think they will do anything for five to six days,” Justice Najafi said.

The Punjab’s counsel said that the government won’t do anything outside the law.

“It gets doubtful when you say this,” Justice Neelam said.

Nothing should be special for anyone, the Punjab lawyer said.

“No one is following the Constitution here,” Khan said.

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4 dead, 12 injured as sucide blast rips through Hangu mosque




  • Incident takes place within parameters of Police Station Doaba. 
  • Two suicide bombers were involved in attack, says Hangu DPO.
  • 12 people, rescued from rubble, shifted to nearby hospital. 

HANGU: A blast ripped through a mosque in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Hangu, local officials confirmed Friday, leaving three dead — including a policeman — and 12 injured.

The incident took place within the parametres of Police Station Doaba during the Friday sermon — a time when scores of believers are gathered at a mosque for their weekly prayer. 

Hangu District Police Officer Nisar Ahmed said 30-40 people were under the rubble — as the mosque’s roof caved in — and an operation was underway to rescue them.

Ahmed said two suicide bombers were involved in the attack — one targeted the gate of the police station, and the other blew himself up inside the mosque.

The 12 people, rescued from the rubble, have been shifted to a nearby hospital, he said.

Caretaker Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Azam Khan, taking notice, directed officials to enforce an emergency in all hospitals of the city as he sought a report on the blast from law enforcers.

The police officials said that two militants tried entering the police station and started firing at the gate. They added that one of the terrorists was killed at the gate by the police in retaliatory fire.

Moreover, two policemen were also injured during the firing, officials of the law enforcement agency said, adding that the other militant blew himself up inside the mosque.

The timely action by the police resulted in fewer casualties following the blast, they added. 

This was the second terror attack to hit Pakistan in a single day as earlier today, a suicide blast in Balochistan’s Mastung district killed at least 35 people including a police officer while injuring over 45.

The explosion took place near the mosque where people were gathering to mark Eid Miladun Nabi — the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

For the past year now, Pakistan has been gripped by a spate of terror attacks, with Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa particularly being under the radar of militants targeting security forces and civilians to deteriorate peace.

Security forces, however, continue to conduct operations against terrorists to eliminate terrorism from the country in its resolve to strengthen the sacrifices of its soldiers.

Earlier this month, a report compiled by the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS) stated a sharp increase recorded in militant attacks across the country in the month of August with 99 terror incidents reported.

This, according to the report, was the highest number recorded in any single month since November 2014. These attacks have resulted in 112 deaths and 87 injuries, mostly targeting security forces personnel and civilians.

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One-month deadline for illegal foreign nationals to be announced soon




  • Major countrywide crackdown to be launched by LEAs.
  • Around 1.1 million Afghan refugees illegally reside in Pakistan.
  • Surge in street crime in capital linked with illegal Afghans.

ISLAMABAD: The government will soon announce a one-month deadline for all illegal foreign immigrants, including Afghans, to leave the country or face the music.

After the one-month deadline, a major countrywide crackdown will be launched by the law-enforcement agencies to identify and deport such illegal immigrants, the vast majority of whom are said to be Afghans.

Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti will announce the policy in a few days time, an informed source said. 

The decision at the highest level has already been taken not to let Pakistan become a haven for illegal immigrants, many of whom are not only involved in criminal activities but are also part of the smuggling mafia, the source added.

It is said the authorities have already arrested many illegal Afghan immigrants who were doing illegal dollar trade at the cost of the country’s economy. A large number of such illegal foreign nationals are also doing different businesses in several major cities including the federal capital. The surge in street crime in Islamabad is also linked with the influx of illegal Afghans.

There are said to be around 1.1 million Afghan refugees residing in Pakistan illegally. 

It is said as many as 400,000 Afghans entered Pakistan illegally since the return of the Afghan Taliban to Afghanistan in August 2021. There are another 700,000 Afghans identified who have been living in the country illegally.

Media reports suggest that 1.1 million Afghan refugees neither possess any visa nor any valid documents, allowing them to stay in the country. Most of these illegal refugees were involved in anti-state and criminal activities.

Therefore, they would be sent back at the earliest, said a report, adding the Afghan Taliban government was also informed about Pakistan’s decision.

Islamabad has hosted millions of refugees for decades, and at one point five million Afghan refugees were residing in Pakistan. 

Some estimates suggest there are still close to four million Afghan refugees living in Pakistan. However, the count of individuals possessing valid refugee cards, as per official records, is considerably lower.

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HEC announces Commonwealth Scholarships for masters, PhD




In a positive development for students, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has announced Commonwealth Scholarships for masters and PhD programmes for the year 2023. 

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK (CSC) provides the UK government’s Commonwealth scholarship scheme led by international development objectives. 

The CSC has funded over 30,000 individuals to study in the UK and gain skills, acquire knowledge, and build networks to tackle global development challenges

Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) students can apply for the scholarships till October 17 (Tuesday) on the CSC portal.

The HEC’s website said that 26 nominations are available for masters, 30 for PhD and 10 for teaching faculty PhD.

Applicants are advised to visit the links to apply for the masters, PhD and teaching faculty (PhD) scholarships. 

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