Pakistan News

Imran once again approaches higher court against arrest as PTI supporters maintain vigil outside Zaman Park

Imran once again approaches higher court against arrest as PTI supporters maintain vigil outside Zaman Park

As PTI supporters continued to camp outside party chairman Imran Khan’s residence in Lahore, the former prime minister approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday to avoid possible arrest.

Embroiled in legal complexities, Imran has been resisting arrest and is holed up inside his Zaman Park residence surrounded by hundreds of supporters, who have fought “pitched battles” with the police and Rangers over the past few days.

The Islamabad police, backed up by their Punjab Police compatriots and the Rangers, arrived at the ex-premier’s house earlier this week to execute non-bailable arrest warrants issued by an Islamabad sessions court for him in connection with the Toshakhana case — in which he has skipped several hearings.

However, the law enforcement agencies retreated on Wednesday evening, saying that the operation had been paused during the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL). Separately, the Lahore High Court (LHC) had also intervened and postponed the operation twice.

On Thursday, an Islamabad sessions court — where PTI had gone for the suspension of Imran’s arrest warrants — upheld the warrants that it issued, observing that the PTI chief had “challenged the dignity and writ of the state”.

On Friday morning (today), the former prime minister filed yet another petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) challenging the verdict of the trial court.

After Imran skipped multiple hearings in the Toshakhana case, the trial court had issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Imran and instructed police to present him in court on March 7. The PTI chief managed to dodge the arrest and later approached the IHC for the cancellation of the warrants.

The IHC, while granting some relief to Imran, had told him to appear in the sessions court by March 13, but the former prime minister once again skipped the hearing. Resultantly, ADSJ Iqbal had on Monday re-issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Imran and directed the police to bring him to court by March 18.

The PTI then challenged the latest arrest warrants issued for Imran in the IHC. It rejected the plea and directed the PTI chief to submit an undertaking to the trial court which states he would attend the hearing on March 18. However, the trial rejected the plea and the undertaking.

In the latest petition filed today, Imran prayed that the trial court’s order be set aside and his arrest warrants be suspended “till the final disposal of the petition” so that the PTI chief could appear in court on March 18. has learnt that the IHC registrar has raised objections to the plea, saying that the court could not take up a petition that has already been heard.

Separately, the Lahore High Court (LHC) has resumed hearing a petition filed by PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry seeking to end the “atrocities” outside Zaman Park.

The LHC previously twice stopped the police operation outside Imran’s residence. The court had also instructed the Punjab police and PTI to sit together and resolve the matter after consultation.

Ahead of the hearing today, Chaudhry tweeted that both parties have “agreed to resolve the issues” and the agreed solution will be presented in court today.

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