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Thursday April 25, 2024

Prohibited funding case: Islamabad banking court summons Imran Khan on February 28

Islamabad banking court hears case of prohibited funding under Foreign Exchange Act against Imran Khan and other PTI leaders

By Arfa Feroz Zake
February 25, 2023
Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan (centre) arrives to appear before a court in Islamabad. — AFP/File
Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan (centre) arrives to appear before a court in Islamabad. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: A banking court in the federal capital ordered on Saturday Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan to appear before it on February 28 in the prohibited funding case.

A case of prohibited funding under the Foreign Exchange Act against Imran Khan and other PTI leaders was heard at the banking court on Saturday.

Imran Khan's lawyer Naeem Panjutha appeared before the court of judge Rukhshanda Shaheen.

The lawyer said that the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had decided that Imran Khan should appear before the banking court on February 28.

On behalf of Khan, a copy of the decision of the IHC was also submitted to the banking court.

In light of the high court's decision, the court ordered Imran to appear before it on February 28 and adjourned the hearing till then.

Earlier this month, a division bench of the IHC rejected the former prime minister’s request to attend the hearing through a video link and directed him to appear before the banking court in person on February 28.

Khan had approached the IHC to stop the banking court from issuing an order in his case after the latter had summoned him on February 15 as his bail was about to expire in the prohibited funding case.

The IHC then ordered the banking court to suspend the decision on Khan’s interim bail and extended its stay order against the verdict of the banking court.

The PTI chief is embroiled in several cases and he was also asked to appear before two separate Lahore High Court benches earlier this month as he sought protective bail in a case pertaining to protests.

Khan, who was earlier reluctant to show up before the courts in person, arrived at the LHC on the night of February 20 and a packed crowd was awaiting him over there.

The PTI chief, despite arriving at 5pm, could not get down from his vehicle till 7pm, due to security concerns. Once he appeared before the benches — one granted him protective bail in the Islamabad protest case and the other disposed of his second petition in the case regarding protests outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) after he withdrew his plea. 

Meanwhile, on the date — February 28 — that Khan has to appear before the banking court, Additional Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal will also hear the Toshakhana case and is expected to indict him.

'Medical report not reliable'

Later, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) submitted an application in the banking court, requesting the formation of a medical board at either the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Hospital or the Polyclinic Hospital in Islamabad for Khan’s medical examination.

The medical report of this board should be considered in court, the FIA requested.

“Imran Khan has orthopaedic problems but is submitting a medical report issued by a cancer hospital,” the FIA said, also taking issue with the fact that the hospital from where the reports have been issued was headed by the former prime minister himself.

“These medical reports cannot be considered reliable,” the application said, asking instead that Khan undergo a medical examination from either PIMS or the Polyclinic Hospital, which would be considered more reliable.

The investigation agency also claimed that Khan was not cooperating with it regarding investigations and added that the PTI chief's plea to extend bail is still pending in the banking court.

However, the PTI chief has been taking “unfair advantage of his interim bail”, and has consistently failed to appear in court since being granted the interim bail.