Saturday July 20, 2024

BHC suspends Imran Khan's arrest warrant for two weeks

Quetta court had issued non-bailable arrest warrant against PTI chief a day back

By Ahmed Faraz & Salman Ashraf
March 10, 2023
Former prime minister Imran Khan (centre) leaves after appearing at a court in Islamabad on February 28, 2023. — AFP
Former prime minister Imran Khan (centre) leaves after appearing at a court in Islamabad on February 28, 2023. — AFP

The Balochistan High Court suspended on Friday a non-bailable warrant for the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan for two weeks.

Justice Zaheer-Ud-Din Kakar was hearing a plea seeking dismissal of the case against Imran. The plea was filed by Insaf Lawyers Forum's (ISF) Iqbal Shah on behalf of the PTI chief.

A local court in Quetta had issued the arrest warrant for the PTI chief a day back in a case of incitement against state institutions, which is registered in Balochistan's capital.

In it, the PTI chief maintained that the allegation under which the case was registered did not take place within the limits of the Bijli Road police station and hence, doesn't fall under its jurisdiction.

The petition urged the BHC to dismiss the FIR.

Justice Kakar, while suspending the warrant, issued summons for the Balochistan police chief, SP legal and the SHO in the case.

The hearing was then adjourned for two weeks.

Quetta police reach Lahore to arrest Imran

The high court's decision came shortly after a team of the Quetta police reached Lahore with the non-bailable warrant to arrest Imran Khan.

The police team included Superintendent of Police (SP) Investigations Nadeem, Deputy Superintendent of Police Abdul Sattar, a sub-inspector and two other officers. They were to be assisted by the Lahore police.

PTI workers, meanwhile, poured in from all corners and surrounded the Zaman Park residence of the PTI chief.

The case against Imran Khan

The case had been registered against Imran Khan under multiple sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016 (PECA).

A judicial magistrate had issued an arrest warrant and directed the authorities to present the former prime minister in court.

A first information report (FIR) was registered at a police station in Quetta against Khan for the comments he made against state institutions and their officers during a speech on Sunday.

Complainant Abdul Khalil Kakar had registered the complaint at the Bijli Road police station. The FIR included sections 153A, 124A, and 505 of the PPC and Section 20 of PECA. Kakar had alleged that the PTI chief’s statement was an attempt to destroy public peace and order.

In a speech on Sunday, the PTI chief had come down hard on state institutions after a team of the Islamabad police had arrived at his Zaman Park residence to arrest him in the Toshakhana case.

The deposed prime minister — who was ousted from power in April last year — vented his rage while addressing party workers and supporters at Zaman Park residence in Lahore who participated in the 'Jail Bharo Tehreek' (voluntary arrest movement).

In his fiery speech, the PTI chairman had said that he had neither kneeled before any institution or person nor would he let the nation do so.