Imran Khan appeared before a special court; Anti-corruption watchdog calls for 14-day physical pretrial detention

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog on Wednesday called for a 14-day physical pretrial detention for former Prime Minister Imran Khan as he was brought before a special court inside a police establishment in high security here for the hearing in a corruption case in which he was arrested.
The 70-year-old former cricketer turned politician was taken into custody by paramilitary Rangers on Tuesday on the orders of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) when he stormed into a room in the Islamabad High Court where he was coming to attend a case of corruption. hearing of the case.
The new police guesthouse located at the premises of Police Lines Headquarters in H-11/1 sector of Islamabad has been declared a court for the purpose of hearing two cases against Khan.
The first case concerns Al-Qadir Trust which would have caused more than 50 billion rupees to the public treasury. Khan was arrested in the case on Tuesday, sparking massive protests across the country by his supporters.
It was produced in the No 1 Anti-Accountability Tribunal presided over by Judge Muhammad Bashir, the same judge who convicted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam in a bribery case for having properties in London. Maryam was later released in the case by the Islamabad High Court.
However, Sharif’s case is still pending in the High Court as he failed to appear in court.
At the start of the hearing, NAB’s lawyers asked the court to grant Khan 14 days on remand to investigate against him on the allegation. But Khan’s lawyer opposed the plea and asked the judge to release him as the charges were fabricated.
The judge took a break after the initial hearing and was expected to deliver his decision once the hearing resumed.
Khan would also appear in District and Sessions Court where Judge Humayun Dilawar would preside over the process. The case concerns the concealment of proceeds from the sale of state gifts and it was filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan last year.
Citing sources, Geo News reported that a medical report submitted to NAB showed Khan had been found fit and had not complained of any pain to doctors examining him.
Elaborate security measures have been put in place to prevent PTI workers and supporters from approaching the courtroom. Even the media were not allowed to enter the area and even the main leaders of the PTI were not allowed to attend the hearing or meet their leader.
Among those not allowed to enter are PTI senior vice president Shah Mahmood Qureshi and general secretary Asad Umar. The two protesters went to the Islamabad High Court to file a plea against the police decision to prevent them from seeing Khan.
However, before any legal proceedings were initiated, Umar was arrested by the Islamabad Police Counter Terrorism Squad as two new cases were launched against him for violence committed by the PTI protests after Khan’s arrest.
“The most popular leader is treated like this in this country where the law of the jungle reigns. The people of Pakistan want him to be well, the regime must act according to the will of the people of Pakistan,” said a tweet from the party’s official Twitter account.
Khan’s party also filed a petition with the Supreme Court on Wednesday, challenging the Islamabad High Court’s ruling on Tuesday night that upheld his arrest.
“A petition to the Supreme Court has been filed by lawyer Ali Zafar and PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry challenging the IHC verdict against Imran Khan,” Dawn reported.
The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday evening upheld Khan’s arrest, saying that all legal formalities had been completed by the NAB during his arrest.
Earlier on Wednesday, Qureshi said the party was working to secure Khan’s release, saying arrests and intimidation “will not deter us”.
He told the media as he walked to police lines that protests were expected following the arrest, but he called on people to remain peaceful. “Peaceful protest is your constitutional right, keep going. But don’t do yourself justice,” he said.
Qureshi said since Tuesday he had called on protesters to remain peaceful. He said he told party supporters that the government was looking for excuses to file bogus lawsuits against them. “They’re looking for excuses to pressure you. Don’t give them that chance,” he said.
Meanwhile, the federal government has moved to deploy Pakistani army troops to Punjab to maintain public order in the most populous province, which has witnessed violent protests in several cities following Khan’s arrest on Tuesday. .
The decision was made at the request of the Punjab government, according to a notification issued by the federal government.
“The exact number of troops/assets, date and area of ​​deployment will be determined by the provincial government in consultation” with army headquarters, according to the notification.
The Telecommunications Authority of Pakistan has said that internet services across the country will remain suspended for an indefinite period. He confirmed that the decision to block mobile broadband services had been taken on the directives of the Home Office.
Services were shut down when protests erupted after Khan’s arrest.
Khan’s party claimed that at least four people had been killed and more than a dozen injured in different parts of the country in violent clashes between security forces and PTI supporters.
In Peshawar, protests and attacks on facilities continued into the second day of Wednesday and one person died in clashes between police and protesters at Bacha Khan Chowk cattle market in the city.
The enraged protesters entered the building of Radio Pakistan, Peshawar and ransacked the offices.
The cantonment in Peshawar and the roads leading to the corps headquarters and the corps commander’s house in Peshawar were sealed. All educational institutions were closed until Monday.


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