Court dismisses plea for suspension of Imran's arrest warrants in Toshakhana case

Court dismisses plea for suspension of Imran's arrest warrants in Toshakhana case


It will be interesting to read detailed verdict: court

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – An Islamabad sessions court dismissed on Thursday the petition seeking the suspension of arrest warrants for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan. 

Additional Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal delivered the verdict and stated, “It will be interesting to read the detailed verdict”.

According to AFP, attempts by police this week to arrest the 70-year-old led to pitched battles with his supporters outside his home in the eastern city of Lahore before a court ordered authorities to stand down Wednesday.

Khan was ousted from office by a no-confidence vote last year and has been snarled in dozens of legal cases as he campaigns for early elections and a return to office.

"The court has dismissed our petition to suspend the non-bailable arrest warrant, which means that Khan can be arrested," lawyer Sher Afzal Marwat told AFP.

It was not immediately clear, however, if police would move against Khan, whose lawyers gave an undertaking to the Islamabad court that he would appear on Saturday.

However, Shibli Faraz, a senior party leader, said he would need "foolproof security" to appear.

This particular case, brought by the Election Commission of Pakistan, centres on accusations Khan did not declare gifts received during his time as premier, or the profit made from selling them. He denied the allegations.

Overnight Tuesday police and paramilitary rangers fought pitched battles with Khan's supporters in the plush Zaman Park neighbourhood of Lahore, firing fusillades of teargas and dodging rocks thrown by angry crowds.

"We never faced such a situation at any place in the past," Islamabad police Inspector General Akbar Nasir told the court Thursday, opposing the cancellation of the arrest warrant.

He said 65 officers were injured in the fracas.

On Tuesday, in connection with the Toshakhana case, PTI Chairman Imran Khan decided to move the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against the arrest warrants. The legal team of the deposed premier had reached the IHC to challenge the arrest warrants.

Lawyer Intazar Hussain Panjutha was present in the IHC after preparing a petition in a bid to seek cancellation of arrest warrants of Mr Khan. 

Earlier today, A heavy contingent of the Islamabad police on Tuesday had a clash with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers and supporters outside party chief Imran Khan's Zaman Park residence.

Read also: Imran Khan booked in Lahore over Zaman Park clashes

A number of people gathered on Canal Road despite obstructions put up by police hours earlier. The police team from the capital city reached Lahore to arrest Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case. Police and the public clashed on Canal Road as a result of which some people were taken into custody and officials had to resort to baton-charge, water spray and tear-gas shelling.

After issuance of non-bailable arrest warrants for PTI chief Imran Khan in Toshakhana case, a team of Islamabad police on Tuesday reached Lahore to get the court orders implemented. Police brandished the court order and warned people against creating law and order situation.

Speaking to reporters, DIG Operations Shahzad Bokhari, who was clad in riot gear, said the team had arrived to arrest the PTI chief. He said police had warrants for the arrest of Imran Khan who failed to appear before the court.

Earlier, a police armoured vehicle also reached Zaman Park at noon. On the other hand, activists of the PTI started gathering over there. Soon after reaching Lahore to get the arrest warrants implemented, the capital police had a consultative meeting with Lahore CCPO Bilal Siddique Kamyana. The meeting mulled various options to arrest the PTI chief.

They said consultations had been completed and plan finalised to confront any possible reaction by the PTI leaders and workers. A list of local PTI leaders and activists has been prepared. The Lahore police said any effort to obstruct law-enforcement agencies would be dealt with sternly. Sources further said the Islamabad police would contact the security officer of PTI chief Imran Khan.