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Imran Khan expected at IHC today for protective bail in multiple cases

Imran Khan expected at IHC today for protective bail in multiple cases

PTI chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan is set to arrive at the Islamabad High Court (IHC) today for protective bail in seven terrorism cases registered against him in the capital.

A video on PTI’s official Twitter showed the PTI chairman arriving in Islamabad, where he was welcomed with petals and slogans.

According to PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry, Imran will appear in court today for the fourth time within a week.

“What are the charges? You came to court with your supporters because of which the outer gate [of the court] broke, hence you are a terrorist,” he said.

Fawad went on to say that the government has turned Pakistan into a joke. “They believe the writ of the state will be established by abducting Pakistanis,” he added.

Last week, the Lahore High Court extended Imran’s protective bail till March 27 (today) in five cases registered against him in Islamabad, including two for “vandalism” at the judicial complex and high court.

The former premier had also been granted protective bail in the five cases on March 17 when he secured protective bail in a total of nine.

Meanwhile, the Islamabad administration has imposed Section 144 (ban on public gatherings) in the capital and warned of arrests in case of the violation of its order.

“In light of court orders, only relevant individuals will be allowed to enter the court premises,” the ICT said in a tweet.

It said that the PTI had named Amir Kiyani for coordination between the police and the party. Moreover, a central control room has also been established at the Safe City Headquarters.

The sessions court was set to indict Imran in the Toshakhana reference on Feb 28, but his lawyer had requested the judge that he be exempted from the hearing because he had to appear in several other courts. His indictment was deferred multiple times before.

The judge had subsequently issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Imran and instructed the police to present him in court by 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.

However, when the police reached Imran’s Zaman Park residence in Lahore to arrest him on Tuesday, they were met with stiff resistance, leading to two-day pitched battles between PTI supporters and law enforcement agencies. The clashes ultimately subsided after the courts intervened on Wednesday.

That same day, the PTI also 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.

Upon submitting the undertaking, the sessions court remarked said the warrants could not be suspended on the basis of an undertaking.

On March 18, ex-PM’s arrest warrants in Toshakhana case were cancelled as ADSJ Zafar Iqbal allowed him to leave after marking his attendance due to clashes between Islamabad Police and PTI workers outside the Judicial Complex.

The hearing was adjourned till March 30 (Thursday) due to the turbulence and chaos witnessed outside the court, with the judge ordering Imran to appear in personal capacity in the next hearing.

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