Infostani International: Former Prime Minister Imran Khan has accused the Punjab government of obstructing PTI’s upcoming show of power. Amidst legal proceedings and allegations of pre-poll rigging, Khan expressed concerns about government interference. The Election Commission of Pakistan and the Islamabad High Court are also involved in legal matters concerning Khan and PTI.
Imran Khan Addresses Legal Developments and Election Dynamics Amidst Section 144 Imposition
On Wednesday, former Prime Minister Imran Khan accused the Punjab government of using Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) to hinder the upcoming Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) show of power. Speaking to the media after attending proceedings related to GBP190 million, Toshakhana, and cipher cases, Imran Khan mentioned that the indictment in the £190 million reference was deferred due to the absence of the defense counsel, Accountability Judge Mohammad Bashir presiding over the case.
Meanwhile, Judge Abual Hasnat Mohammad Zulqarnain concluded the cross-examination of four prosecution witnesses in the cipher case, and there are 25 more witnesses to be cross-examined. Imran Khan claimed that the caretaker government, certain individuals in the establishment, and the Election Commission of Pakistan are united against his party. He expressed concerns about pre-poll rigging and asserted that PTI had a significant vote bank within the armed forces.
Imran Khan stated that Section 144 was imposed after he instructed PTI candidates to hold large-scale public meetings, and he anticipated that the government would not permit these gatherings. He accused PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif of being behind the imposition of Section 144. Khan emphasized that PTI had a contingency plan in case any candidate was arrested or barred from contesting elections.
Legal Developments Surrounding Imran Khan: IHC Reserves Decision on Trial Petitions and ECP Delays Contempt Proceedings
In a related development, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) reserved its decision on two petitions filed by Imran Khan against his trial at Adiala Jail in Toshakhana and the £190 million corruption cases. Imran Khan’s counsel argued that the notification for the jail trial was issued in violation of relevant laws.
Regarding the contempt proceedings, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) agreed not to proceed against Imran Khan until the Feb 8 general elections. The ECP bench, headed by Nisar Ahmed Durrani, heard the case, and Imran Khan’s lawyer requested an adjournment until after the elections. The ECP member emphasized that the commission does not incline any political party. The hearing was adjourned until Feb 20. Additionally, Fawad Chaudhry’s lawyer requested an adjournment in his contempt case, and the hearing was postponed until Feb 21. The lawyer also submitted a written request to issue the production order of Fawad Chaudhry, stating that the trial should be conducted in his presence.