Imran Khan gets relief in Quetta case as BHC suspends arrest warrant for two weeks


LAHORE/QUETTA: Balochistan High Court (BHC) on Friday suspended Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s arrest warrant for two weeks issued by a local court in a case registered against him in Quetta.

The suspension comes amid the arrival of a Quetta police team in Lahore to arrest the PTI chairman as per a court order.

Justice Zaheer-Ud-Din Kakar of the BHC heard the plea filed by Iqbal Shah of the Insaf Lawyers Forum (ISF) on behalf of the PTI chief.

The plea maintained that the offence wasn’t committed in the jurisdiction of Bijli Police Station where the case had been registered and requested the court to dismiss the FIR.

Justice Kakar, while suspending the warrant, also issued the summons for the Balochistan police chief, SP legal and the station house officer of the Bijli Police Station.

The hearing was then adjourned for two weeks.

Quetta police arrive in Lahore for arrest
Meanwhile, a five-member team led by Superintendent of Police (SP) Investigations Nadeem had arrived in Lahore to arrest the PTI chief. The team includes Deputy Superintendent of Police Abdul Sattar, a sub-inspector and two other officers.

A day earlier, a local court in Quetta issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for the PTI chief in a case registered against him under multiple sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016 (PECA).

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

The case
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 against the PTI chief. 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 the speech on Sunday, the PTI chief had come down hard on the “state institutions” after a team of 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 said that he had neither kneeled before any institution or person nor would let the nation do so.