Gives him chance to go to trial court tomorrow

Imran Khan's arrest warrants are suspended by a Pakistani court.

DailyStar || Shining BD

Published: 3/17/2023 1:11:14 PM

Imran Khan's non-bailable arrest warrants were suspended by Pakistan's Islamabad High Court (IHC) today until tomorrow, giving him the opportunity to appear before the trial court that is hearing the Toshakhana reference against the nation's former premier.

While issuing the orders, IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq also gave the capital police and sessions court instructions to adequately secure Imran.

Imran is hiding out in his Zaman Park home with hundreds of supporters and has been defying arrest in the Toshakhana case while beset by legal complications. Over the past few days, these supporters have engaged in "pitched battles" with the police and Rangers.

The ex-house premier's was visited by the Islamabad police on Tuesday to carry out non-bailable arrest warrants issued by an Islamabad sessions court for him in the Toshakhana reference, in which he has missed several hearings. They were accompanied by their Punjab Police colleagues and the Rangers.

On Wednesday night, the law enforcement authorities withdrew, claiming that the operation had been suspended due to the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL). Additionally, the Lahore High Court (LHC) intervened and delayed the procedure.

On Thursday, an Islamabad sessions court upheld the arrest warrants it had issued, noting that the PTI leader had "challenged the dignity and writ of the state" in his request to have Imran's warrants suspended.

It also upheld the directive to detain the former premier and bring him before a judge by March 18.

The former prime minister has once again petitioned the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to overturn the trial court's decision.

Imran requested in his plea that the arrest warrants be suspended "until the final disposition of the petition" and that the trial court's order be overturned so that the PTI leader could show up in court on March 18.

Imran will visit the LHC to ensure his physical presence in the Islamabad Sessions Court

Separately, Imran had intended to visit the LHC today to reassure the court that he was prepared to appear before the Islamabad Sessions Court on March 18 (which has issued the former premier with non-bailable arrest warrants).

PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry told reporters today that "an undertaking has also been given in this regard" and that "Imran Khan will come to LHC himself and assure the judge that he is ready to go to the Islamabad court".

Chaudhry demanded that the PTI leader be given a "safe passage" to appear in the Islamabad sessions court while speaking to media outside the LHC.

He clarified that the ex-arrest premier's warrant was only issued to ensure his appearance in court. "The warrant's purpose is not to arrest Imran Khan. Ensure only his presence."

Musarrat Cheema, a PTI representative, stated separately that the PTI leader will depart for the high court at 3pm.

Shining BD