I am being treated like ‘criminal’, Imran tells court

LHC extends PTI Chairman’s protective bail till March 27 n Islamabad court converts Imran's non-bailable warrants into bailable n ATC grants post-arrest bail to 93 PTI workers in Zaman Park violence case.

LAHORE/ISLAMABAD    -    Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Fri­day reached the Lahore High Court to seek extension in pro­tective bail in five cases regis­tered against him in Islam­abad. A two member bench comprising Justice Tariq Sal­eem and Justice Anwar Hus­sain heard the petition. 

The Lahore High Court ex­tended the protective bail of Imran Khan till March 27. The former PM appeared before a 2-member bench to seek ex­tension in protective bail in five of the cases registered against him in 3 police sta­tions of Islamabad.

Earlier the court had ap­proved Imran Khan's protec­tive bail till March 24 in 5 cas­es, though he did not appear in Islamabad courts. Former PM’s lawyer pleaded the court to grant protective bail to Im­ran Khan till March 27. 

During the hearing, Imran Khan's lawyer, submitted in the court that the time for the protective bail had expired, and his client has appeared in the court to ask for extension in protective bail. The lawyer went on to say that cases are being registered against Im­ran Khan on daily basis. 

During the hearing, Chairman PTI Imran Khan came to the rostrum and stated that there was such tense atmosphere in Islam­abad as if I was criminal coming to Islamabad. All the roads leading towards judicial complex were blocked with containers when I reached the Islam­abad toll plaza. It took me 5 hours to judicial complex from toll plaza due to hin­drance set up by the fed­eral government. “Stones were pelted at my car from above, I have serious secu­rity concerns, there were threats to my life, but I waited for 40 minutes out­side Judicial Complex Is­lamabad.” Imran Khan gave a statement in the court. I had left Islamabad to save my life, I cannot go to the judicial complex under the circumstances, he said. When people came to know about my appearance they started to gather around my vehicle. On March 18 I went to appear before the court, upon my return from Islamabad, two more cases were lodged against me.

Imran Khan said that what is happening to him is un­precedented and no former prime minister has been treated like this before. 

The public prosecutor raised the objection that they had been given protec­tive bail earlier but they did not appear in the court. 

Imran Khan said that the court could see his entry in a video. The court remarked that it will not watch the vid­eos. The Lahore High Court directed the office to num­ber the applications of Im­ran Khan and adjourned the hearing until the numbering of the application.

When the hearing re­sumed Lawyer of Imran Khan requested the court to grant bail for the next work­ing day so Imran Khan could reach Islamabad, adding he is not asking for a long date. 

Lawyer of Imran Khan said that Imran Khan did not ap­pear in the courts in which he took bail. Security situa­tion deteriorated when he reached Islamabad. It does not seem appropriate un­der the situation to go to the judicial complex again as there’s a serious threat to his life, we are only ask­ing for an extension in the protective bail. There are hearings of the cases in Is­lamabad on March 27, if the court grants extension till March 27 all these cases will be consolidated on March 27, he added.

The court remarked that it is to be seen whether the law allows the extension of the bail you are asking for or not. Imran Khan’s lawyer said that we seeking bail as per the law.

The court remarked that it would be better if Imran appears in the concerned court in this regard. The public prosecutor submit­ted copies of 2 judgments in two cases of Imran Khan while pleading to reject the petitions of Imran Khan, and said that he did not oppose the protective bail for the first time. The court ordered Imran Khan to give an affi­davit to submit the bail ap­plication in the court. The court adjourned the hear­ing till the submission of af­fidavit. After hearing Imran Khan left the High Court for his Zaman Park residence.

A bulletproof vehicle reached Zaman Park ear­lier to take Imran Khan to the court, while a Jammer vehicle of the Punjab Police was also brought to Zaman Park, which accompanied Imran Khan on the occasion of his court appearance. When Imran departed for LHC the PTI’s baton-carry­ing workers were also pres­ent outside his Zaman Park residence. ATC dismisses bail petitio

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