Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan appeared before the Islamabad High Court on Friday in connection with the Al-Qadir Trust case, a day after the Supreme Court ruled his arrest “unlawful” triggering deadly clashes across the country.
EX PM Imran Khan’s bail plea will be heard by a two-member special division bench comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Saman Imtiaz after Friday prayers.
Extraordinary security arrangements were put in place in the capital during Imran Khan’s appearance at the high court, with police and Frontier Corps (FC) troops deployed outside the IHC. Containers have been placed near police lines on the Srinagar Highway, and a heavy contingent of police and Rangers officials deployed under the Faizabad Bridge, Srinagar Highway, and Police Lines.
The PTI stated that “peaceful” supporters would gather at the Srinagar Highway in Islamabad’s G-13 to express solidarity with the former prime minister. The party also said that Imran would make a speech after his court appearance.
However, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah stated on Thursday that authorities would arrest Imran again if he is granted bail. “If (Khan) gets bail from the High Court, we will wait for the cancellation of bail and arrest him again,” Sanaullah told private TV.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan termed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan’s arrest “illegal” minutes after he reached the Supreme Court after a three-member bench ordered the authorities to produce him before the court.
The three-member bench comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Athar Minallah, along with the CJP, while hearing the former prime minister’s plea against his arrest in the Al-Qadir Trust case, termed Imran Khan’s arrest from IHC premises “illegal” and ordered his immediate release.
“Your arrest was invalid, so the whole process needs to be backtracked,” Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial told Khan at a hearing in the capital Islamabad on Thursday. The apex court ordered Imran Khan to stay at the Police Lines Guest House but not as a prisoner and directed the Islamabad police chief to ensure the former PM’s security. He was directed to appear in the Islamabad High Court on Friday morning.
Imran Khan was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the Al-Qadir Trust case on Tuesday. The PTI chief was taken into custody by Rangers personnel, who were acting on the NAB’s warrant, from the premises of Islamabad High Court where the former premier had gone to seek bail in multiple cases registered against him.
Later, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) termed the arrest of the former premier and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman ‘legal.’ Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Aamer Farooq heard the petition challenging the PTI chief’s arrest. The court also issued contempt court notices to Interior Secretary and IG Islamabad.
Since being ousted from office last April, Khan has waged a tempestuous campaign for snap elections and fired unprecedented criticism at Pakistan’s government and powerful military, who he blames for pulling him from power. The situation remains tense as supporters of the PTI and opposition parties continue to clash in different parts of the country.