Al-Qadir Trust case hearing: Imran Khan warns of unrest if arrested again


ISLAMABAD, MAY 12: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Friday warned of unrest across the country in case of his arrest as hearing on his bail plea in Al-Qadir trust case resumes after prayer break.

In ths first session of the hearing, a two-member special division bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) left the courtroom, adjourning the hearing on Khan’s bail plea immediately after slogans were chanted in favour of the former premier.

The IHC took up former prime minister’s bail plea a day after Supreme Court termed former prime minister’s arrest in the Al-Qadir Trust case “unlawful”.

In the court room, Khan — in response to a question from Geo News on whether he was allowed to use phone during his arrest — said: “NAB officials allowed me to talk to my wife via landline”.

The reporter then cross-questioned that why did Khan contact Musarrat Cheema when he was given the phone to talk to his wife.

At this Khan clarified that he could not contact his wife.

In response to a question that had he expected to be arrested, Khan replied: “I was 100% certain that I would be arrested.”

Following this, the courtroom erupted into slogans in favour of the PTI chief. The courtroom staff tried to stop the chanting; however, they failed to do so. At this, Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb said that this was “unacceptable”.

Subsequently, the hearing was briefly adjourned for a break for Friday prayers.

Khan arrived in a high-security convoy at Islamabad High Court, where hundreds of police and paramilitary troops have been deployed.

He was taken for his biometrics immediately after reaching court and will now appear before a two-member bench seeking bail in Al-Qadir Trust case.

IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq has formed a “special division bench” which comprises Justice Aurangzeb and Justice Imtiaz to hear Khan’s bail plea.

“We are hopeful that bail will be granted by the High Court,” Faisal Hussain Chaudhry, a lawyer for Khan told reporters.

‘Punjab Police standing outside to arrest me’

In an informal discussion with journalists during the hearing break, Khan said that he will not resist if his bail plea is rejected.

Contacting his legal team amid fears of arrest, Khan — referring to the clashes — warned that a similar reaction would be seen if he is arrested again.

“I don’t want such a situation to arise again as this is my country and my army,” he said, revealing that the Punjab Police had arrived to him.

The PTI chief did not respond to a question about his experience of being arrested; however, in response to a question regarding claims that he was given “extraordinary relief” compared to other political leaders, Khan said: “Relief in this! I was sitting in the high court, they had no justification to arrest me.”

Terming his arrest “abduction”, he said that the warrant was shown to him after he was taken to the jail. “This is the law of the jungle,” the PTI chief asserted.

“Where did the police and the law go? It looks like martial law has been declared here,” he said.

‘Lawyers who chanted slogans are not a part of PTI’
Speaking to media persons during the hearing break, Khan’s lawyer Babar Awan clarified that the lawyers who started chanting slogans were not related to PTI.”

He then asked: “Why would someone who wants elections, create trouble in the country?”

Awan further expressed concerns about another arrest of the PTI chairman and said: “The Punjab police has especially been called to Islamabad. Why does the government want to arrest Imran Khan?”

The lawyer added that if the Punjab police arrested Khan again, it would be “unconstitutional”.

Did Khan meet establishment during imprisonment?
Ahead of his hearing, a Geo News reporter asked Khan if he had met with the establishment during his imprisonment.

Khan responded by shaking his head in the negative.

He was then asked: “Are you adamant or have you made a deal?” This time too, the PTI chief did not answer, instead he smiled, prompting the reporter to ask if Khan’s silence was a sign that he had made a deal?

Once more, Khan did not respond verbally and instead put his finger on his mouth, signalling to be quiet.

Security arrangements

Ahead of today’s hearing, hundreds of police and paramilitary troops were deployed around the high court and the surrounding area, which was blocked for traffic.

Live updates on Al-Qadir Trust case hearing: Imran Khan warns of unrest if arrested again
PTI lawyers were present at the rear gate of the IHC, while Rangers personnel stood outside the court’s building and Islamabad Police were deployed inside the premises.

According to Geo News, PTI lawyers had urged the court staff to change the room as Court Room Number 3 — designated for the hearing — was “too small” for the hearing. The request was later accepted and the hearing shifted to Court Room 2.

Earlier today, Islamabad police issued an emergency order banning all gatherings in the capital city after PTI called for supporters to come together.

Live updates on Al-Qadir Trust case hearing: Imran Khan warns of unrest if arrested again
A day earlier, contrary to the IHC — which termed PTI chief’s arrest “legal”, a three-member bench of the Supreme Court deemed Khan’s arrest from the premises of the high court “illegal”, directing him to appear before the IHC today (Friday).

“The manner of execution of the arrest warrant issued by the Chairman, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) dated 01.05.2023 in the Al-Qadir Trust case within the premises of the Islamabad High Court against the petitioner is invalid and unlawful,” the ruling said.

Khan was arrested from the IHC premises by paramilitary forces on Tuesday (May 9), which triggered violent protests across the country. The former prime minister had immediately approached the court for release but it had declared his arrest legal.

Since being ousted from office last April, Khan has waged a tempestuous campaign for snap elections and fired unprecedented criticism at the coalition government and military who he blames for pulling him from power.

He has accused senior military and government officials of plotting a November assassination attempt that saw him shot in the leg during a rally.