Seeking adequate security arrangements for his court appearances due to plausible assassination attempts against him, Former Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan has written a letter to Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial.
Imran Khan, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, has complained of not being provided adequate security despite being the country’s former PM. He said that he is the chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), the largest political party in Pakistan and it is natural that massive crowds follow him wherever he goes which menaces his official security. He emphasized that the right to life is a fundamental right under the constitution and stressed that there is a “grave threat” to his life.
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Mr. Khan alleged the involvement of the current Prime Minister and Interior Minister in the failed assassination attempt against him and there are clear indications of another assassination attempt against him in the future. He further recalled that the same happened when he had to appear before different courts in Islamabad. He requested the Chief Justice of Pakistan to ensure adequate security if his appearance in court is deemed to be necessary and to take immediate action on the threat faced by him from those in power. The PTI chairman has also pleaded for a video link facility for court appearances after the failed attempt of arrest by police.
Escaping the Police Arrest
On 5th March 2023, which is on Sunday, Imran Khan escaped arrest after police officials arrived just after noon at his residence, Zaman Park, in Lahore with non-bailable arrest warrants because of his repeated absence from court hearings in the Toshakhana case. The police said a police superintendent had gone inside his residence after being informed by Mr. Khan’s chief of staff, Shibli Faraz that he is unavailable but could not find him. They were also confronted by a swarm of PTI supporters and functionaries.
Mr. Khan grumbled on Twitter that Shebaz Shariff was rescued by General Bajwa who kept getting NAB cases trial postponed when he was about to be convicted by NAB for 8 Billion Rupees in money laundering & by FIA for another 16 Billion Rupees in corruption while the police were outside his residence. He remarked on how Shebaz Sharif was made Prime Minister under trial and has since proceeded to select heads of FIA and NAB investigating his cases simply to get his name permanently cleared in ₹ money laundering cases against him.
After the police left the place, Mr. Khan met his legal team to discuss appealing to the Chief Justice of Pakistan for a public trial in the Toshakhana case. In the evening, in a press conference, he claimed all the cases registered against him are fake. Reportedly, to date, there are 74 cases registered against him, of which 30 are criminal cases. PTI’s senior Vice President and Former Minister, Fawad Chaudhry, stated it is not possible for a human to appear in court in such a large number of cases and Islamabad police’s insistence on the arrest of Mr. Khan is illegal.
Pakistan Government Bans Broadcast of Imran Khan’s Speech
On Sunday, an order from Pakistan’s Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) stated that Imran Khan’s speeches and/or press conferences, whether they are recorded or live, are immediately prohibited from being broadcast on any satellite TV networks.
What is Toshakhana Case?
Toshakhana is the government repository where official gifts received from foreign officials and delegates are kept. Mr. Khan is being investigated for buying gifts including an expensive Graff wristwatch at a discounted price from the Toshakhana he had received as the premier and selling them for profit. A non-bailable arrest warrant was issued against him earlier this month of March of 2023 after the PTI chief failed to appear in three indictment hearings in an Islamabad Sessions Court citing he has not fully recovered from a gunshot injury from an assassination attempt last year in 2022.