An alleged conversation between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and party leader Musarrat Jamshed Cheema came to the fore on Thursday, suggesting that the former prime minister was discussing legal strategy with his aides in the NAB custody.
In the audio leak, both the party leaders could be heard purportedly discussing Khan’s Tuesday’s arrest and related case hearing at the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
Khan was arrested on Tuesday by Rangers — becoming the seventh former prime minister to be arrested in Pakistan — on the orders of the NAB, an autonomous anti-graft agency, in relation to the corruption case.
He was then moved to its office in the garrison town of Rawalpindi for questioning.
Subsequently, on the same day, IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq reprimanded the law enforcers for detaining the PTI chief from the court premises and reserved the verdict on the legality of the arrest.
Hours later, the IHC CJ declared the arrest legal.
In the alleged audio conversation that surfaced online earlier today, the PTI chief asked Musarrat Jamshed Cheema to direct Senator Azam Swati to challenge his arrest in the Supreme Court.
Cheema also informed the party chief that his legal team was present in the IHC and it would not leave until he was produced in the court.
Imran Khan: Mussarrat what’s the situation? Did they get the message?
Musrat Jamshed Cheema: Sir, I have delivered the message. We are sitting here in the high court. We are saying that we will not go anywhere unless they produce Khan sahib here.
Khan: Is Khawaja Haris here?
Cheema: Both Khawaja Haris and Salman Safdar are with me, I am sitting with them, you can talk to them.
Khan: Tell Azam Swati that he should do it [file a petition] in the Supreme Court as well as what they have done is totally malafide.
Cheema: Yes, absolutely, don't worry sir.
Khan: What is the chief justice doing... he takes the order from them.
Cheema: NAB and other people came but we said that produce him [Khan] in the court. I am sitting next to Khawaja Haris. We cannot leave like that. We will remain in the court. Your case is fixed for hearing before the chief justice.
Khan: No, but he [CJ] takes orders from them. You must talk to Azam.
Cheema: Okay sir. Please take care of yourself.