Pakistan: In bid to avoid arrest in terrorism case, (former PM) Imran Khan moves IHC


ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Imran Khan Monday morning moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) and sought pre-arrest bail in a terror case filed against him on Sunday.

The plea was filed through Khan’s counsels, Faisal Chaudhry and Babar Awan, in the capital’s top court after a late-night drama at Bani Gala — where police and PTI workers almost came face-to-face following reports that arrest warrants have been issued for the PTI chairman.

A first information report (FIR) was registered against former prime minister Khan under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) for threatening an additional sessions judge and senior police officers of the Islamabad Police at a rally in the federal capital’s F-9 Park.

But as the PTI’s legal team filed the plea, the IHC registrar’s office raise three objections:

  • Imran Khan did not get the bio-metric verification done;
  • Instead of approaching the anti-terrorism court, why did he move the high court?;
  • The attested copy of the terrorism FIR was not provided.

Meanwhile, the interior ministry has asked written permission from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s office to arrest Khan following the registration of the case.

According to sources, the PTI chairman has left his Bani Gala residence to avoid arrest, but party leaders claimed that Khan was still at his home. His whereabouts remain unclear.

According to The News, the interior ministry has sought written permission from the PM Office for the arrest of the PTI chair. Sources said the arrest would be made with the consensus of all parties in the ruling alliance.

Meanwhile, PPP leader and former president Asif Ali Zardari has opposed the arrest of Imran Khan. He believes that the arrest will cause political damage to the ruling alliance.

On the other hand, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) President Maulana Fazlur Rehman did not give a clear viewpoint on Khan’s arrest.

Police deployed around Bani Gala

Additional police force has been deployed outside Khan’s Bani Gala residence and the road leading to his residence has also been closed for unauthorised people, allowing only people close to him and the residents of the area to enter, sources told Geo News hours after the registration of the case.

It is not yet decided whether Khan would be arrested or put under house arrest, sources engaged in sketching the strategy of the operation told The News.

“Negotiations with Imran Khan are underway, as the PTI leader wants to avoid arrest or house arrest,” added the sources, saying that the authorities have multiple plans to handle the situation with the help of law-enforcement agencies, but were waiting for a green signal from the quarters concerned.

“Imran Khan is seeking the facility to approach the higher judiciary for obtaining relief, but he will have to surrender before the police as the first step,” the sources added.___The News