In major relief to Imran Khan, Pak court extends his bail pleas in 9 cases


In a major relief to Pakistans former prime minister Imran Khan, the Islamabad High Court here on Thursday extended his bail pleas in nine cases after he appeared in-person following a warning by the court.

On April 18, the IHC extended Khans bail in eight cases – including those of violence outside the Federal Judicial Complex – till May 3. On Wednesday, the court asked him to attend the hearing while granting one-day extension in bail pleas in nine cases.

Khan on Thursday appeared before a two-member Islamabad High Court bench headed by Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, which had warned him that it may cancel his interim bail over his persistent absence from hearings.

After hearing the multiple pleas, the court extended protective bail for 10-day in seven cases about violence outside the Federal Judicial Complex in Islamabad. The court also directed Khan to appear before the relevant district court during this period for permanent bail. The court also extended bails until May 9 in the mutiny case and the other case about charges of attempted murder case filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz lawmaker Mohsin Ranjha.

Security had been tightened around the court ahead of Khans appearance who travelled to the federal capital from Lahore this morning to secure interim bail. Elaborate security arrangements were made on the occasion. Barbed wires and containers were also placed to ensure law and order in the area. Khan was on a wheelchair when he appeared before the court, as gunshot wounds on his leg have not healed. The former premier survived an attack last year.

Earlier, Khans party shared a video on Twitter showing the 70-year-old former cricketer-turned-politicians car surrounded by his supporters making its way through tight security to reach the entrance of the Islamabad High Court.

His party also released a brief video statement of the party chairman while he was leaving for Islamabad.

“(We) respect the courts, so will appear [before the court] despite pain and swelling in the leg,” said Khan, who was sitting in a wheelchair to be moved to the car.

He said that he was not like “those who create propaganda against the judges” if they dont get a favourable decision, Geo TV reported.

Khan claimed that he had informed the Lahore High Court that a bid was made to assassinate him.

“Once in Wazirabad and the second time in the Judicial Complex on March 18,” he claimed and urged people to take to the streets in a show of solidarity with Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial.

“The mafia is hell-bent against the chief justice,” he said, adding that “the mafia” had divided the Supreme Court (SC) and had been flouting the Constitution.

He also criticised the incumbent government for “running from the elections” which were supposed to be held within 90 days of the dissolution of the assemblies.

Relations between the judiciary and the ruling coalition have soured ever since the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party-led government has been pushing for the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill 2023 aimed at depriving the office of the chief justice of powers to take suo motu notice in an individual capacity and form a panel of judges for hearing of cases. Khan has been implicated in over one hundred cases since his ouster from power in April last year. He alleges that the cases are politically motivated. In his informal chat with reporters inside the court, Khan said that the number of new cases were increasing against him and soon a double century would be completed.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)