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Toshakhana case: Notice issued to NAB for summoning Imran, Bushra Bibi without reason



  • IHC takes up Khan, wife’s pleas challenging the call-up notices.
  • One petition urges NAB call-up notices be declared illegal. 
  • Court remarks it is “not restricting NAB from anything now”.

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday issued a notice to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for summoning Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, in the Toshakhana case without following the standard operating procedures (SOPs).

The IHC took up the pleas filed by Khan and Bushra Bibi, challenging the call-up notices of February 17 and March 16 issued by the anti-graft watchdog.

Bushra Bibi’s petition prayed to the court that the NAB call-up notices should be declared illegal. 

It moved the court to stay the inquiry by changing the investigation till the final decision of the Toshakhana case and also stay the disciplinary action against the petitioners based on the call-up notices.

A division bench headed by IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq heard the pleas. 

Khawaja Haris, the counsel representing the former premier and first lady, maintained that the NAB’s notices didn’t state in which capacity the information was being sought.

“Providing complete information about the notices is mandatory for NAB as per the judicial orders,” Advocate Haris said.

At this, CJ Farooq inquired about the procedure of serving notices as per the latest NAB amendments.

“The Amendment Act says the NAB must establish a reason and communicate it [to the receiver] for summoning someone,” the lawyer said responding to the query.

“As per the amendment law, it should be mentioned whether anyone was summoned as an accused or summoned for any other reason.”

At this, CJ Farooq inquired whether Imran Khan received the summons.

The lawyer then presented the NAB’s call-up notices served to Khan, in court.

“We weren’t provided information in the notices. It only mentioned that it was about an inquiry against public office holders,” the lawyer stated.

He further stated that the Cabinet Division and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), which also come under the banner of public offices, were also involved in the Toshakhana gifts case.

The CJ of the IHC then asked if Imran Khan appeared [before NAB authorities] in response to these notices.

“No he (Khan) did not,” the lawyer replied and added, “He sent a written response only”.

At this, Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz asked did the NAB take any action against Khan over his response. “No, it did not,” the lawyer replied.

“Maybe they [NAB] are convinced with Imran Khan’s response that there was not case,” CJ Farooq observed.

At this, the lawyer said that petitioners feared that NAB would turn the inquiry into an investigation.

“The notice was served the next day after [former NAB chairman] Aftab Sultan resigned,” the lawyer contended.

The court then asked the NAB prosecutor to present his arguments.

The IHC CJ asked if a notice had been served to Khan again.

At this, the NAB prosecutor informed the court that a reminder had been sent to the former premier.

“Your notices do not reflect compliance with judicial orders. We are not restricting NAB from anything now,” CJ Farooq remarked before reserving the verdict on Khan and Bushra Bibi’s pleas.

The court announced the verdict later while issuing notices to NAB for its reply. 


SC to hear reference against Zulfikar Ali Bhutto death sentence next week




  • Nine-member bench, headed by CJP, to hear reference.
  • Last hearing of reference was held on Nov 11, 2022.
  • SC to also hear IHC ex-judge Shaukat Siddiqui plea on removal.

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court is set to take up the 12-year-old presidential reference on revisiting the controversial death sentence awarded to former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto next week, The News reported Friday. 

A nine-member larger bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa, will hear the presidential reference on reconsideration of Bhutto’s death sentence judgment on December 12.

The decision to fix the instant case was made under Section 2(1) of the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Act, 2023, by a three-member committee comprising CJP Isa, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Justice Ijazul Ahsan.

According to Supreme Court Registrar Jazeela Aslam, the other members of the larger bench are Justice Masood, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, Justice Yahya Afridi, Justice Aminud Din Khan, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi, and Justice Musarrat Hilali.

It is pertinent to mention that former president Asif Ali Zardari, on April 2, 2011, had approached the apex court through a presidential reference under Article 186 of the Constitution to seek its opinion on revisiting the trial of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The last hearing of the reference was held on November 11, 2022.

Earlier, an 11-member larger bench of the apex court, headed by former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, had conducted five hearings in the presidential reference.

Babar Awan, the then federal law minister in the PPP regime, had earlier appeared as the federal government’s lawyer in the case and presented lengthy arguments. However, on January 17, 2012, Awan’s law practice license was suspended for criticising the court’s order in the Memogate case. Later, the case was adjourned due to a change of counsel who were appearing in the instant reference.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has also fixed the petition of sacked Islamabad High Court (IHC) Judge Shaukat Siddiqui challenging his removal for misconduct on December 14.

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ECP expected to announce election schedule on December 14




  • ECP has published final list of delimitations.
  • CEC says ECP aware of its duties regarding polls. 
  • Calls on public to participate in elections.

ISLAMABAD: Amid heightened political temperature in the country, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is expected to announce the schedule for much-awaited general elections on December 14, The News reported Friday. 

Political parties are busy in electioneering and political wheeling and dealing to strengthen their position in the polls which are slated to take place on February 8 next year.

The electoral body recently published the final list of delimitations clearing a major hurdle to the announcement of the polls. It is in the final phase of appointment of district returning officers, returning officers and assistant officers as per the provisions of the Elections Act, 2017.

According to Sections 50 and 51 of the Elections Act, a district returning officer is appointed for each district or a specified area and a returning officer for each constituency for elections to an assembly. 

The provincial election commissioners as well as the Election Commission Secretariat have furnished lists of government officers for the election duty. Their appointment will follow the election-related training.

Separately, in a message on the occasion of National Voters Day, Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja said the printing and delivery of the final electoral rolls had been completed successfully. He said the ECP was fully cognisant of all its constitutional and legal responsibilities regarding elections and related matters. 

CEC Raja also referred to the Election Commission’s full preparedness and commitment and assured the voters of complete security, privacy and transparency throughout the election process. The chief election commissioner called on the public to participate in the polls to shape their bright future.

The Finance Division on Tuesday released Rs17.4 billion to the ECP for poll arrangements, putting to rest election delay rumours.

Last week, the ECP also notified the final list of delimitation of constituencies of the national and four provincial assemblies, paving the way for the announcement of the election schedule.

The CEC also reiterated that elections will take place at its scheduled time and maintained that the commission will ensure complete security during the polls.

He also urged the people to use their right to vote for the “bright future of the country and nation” and cooperate with the ECP to ensure peaceful elections.

Raja also reminded the people that they have “power of vote,” asking them to cast their ballot while keeping in view the future of their children.

National Voters Day is observed each year on December 7 to create awareness among the masses about the importance of vote registration and encourage the electorates to use the power of the ballot to elect their representatives.

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Zardari ropes in Balochistan electables as electioneering gears up




  • Former minister Sikandar Imrani among others join PPP.
  • Zardari welcomes Balochistan leaders into party’s fold.
  • Development comes amid heightened political activities.

Several electables from Balochistan including former chief minister and Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) leader Abdul Qudous Bizenjo joined the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in the run-up to the February 8 elections.

The development came in a meeting with PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari in Lahore on Thursday, according to a statement issued on the party’s social media channel on Thursday.

During the meeting, former Balochistan minister Sikandar Imrani, Syed Nizamuddin, Syed Hameed, Naseer Ahmed Bizenjo and Mir Abdul Wahab Bizenjo also joined the PPP.

Zardari welcomed them into the party folds.

The development comes amid heightened political temperature in the country with political parties busy in electioneering and political wheeling and dealing to strengthen their position in the elections slated to take place on February 8, 2023.

Last month, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif succeeded in wooing at least two dozen prominent politicians from Balochistan into the party ranks.

The electables included Jam Kamal Khan, Mir Saleem Khosa, Noor Mohammad, Baba Buledi, Sardar Masood Luni, Rubaba Buledi, Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran, Shoaib Nosherwani, Ramin Jan Muhammad Hassni and Muhammad Khan Lehri joined the PML-N ranks.

PPP leaders Saeedul Hassan Mandokhail, Sardar Fateh Muhammad, and Faiq Jamali jumped ship to join the PML-N.

From the National Party, Mujib Mohammad Hassni and former senator Dr Ashok Kumar, while Zeenat Shahwani of BNP-M and PTI’s Muhammad Jamali and Sardar Atif Sanjrani also joined the PML-N.

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