- Warrant issued in a case against PTI chief for his remarks regarding Additional District and Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry
- ICT police says arrest warrant issued to ensure Imran Khan's appearance in court
Anticipating activity from authorities, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers started assembling at Imran Khan's Bani Gala residence in Islamabad after a magistrate issued arrest warrants for the former prime minister and party chief on Saturday. Earlier in the evening, Islamabad's Margalla Police Station magistrate, Civil Judge Rana Mujahid Rahim, issued the warrant in the case registered on August 20 against the PTI chief for his remarks regarding Additional District and Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry, Aaj News reported.
The FIR includes four sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), including 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 189 (threat of injury to public servant), and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant).
The development comes after Imran submitted an affidavit to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in the contempt case against him for disrespecting Additional Sessions Judge Zeba during one of his rallies.
In the affidavit, the former premier swore to “adhere to what I said in the court during the last hearing.”
“If the court imposes additional conditions, I will take them into account and if the court is still not satisfied, then I am ready to take additional steps as well,” the affidavit read. However, the affidavit did not contain an unconditional apology.
This comes a day after Imran appeared before the court of Chaudhry to apologise to her, but found that the judge was on leave.
"You have to tell Madam Zeba Chaudhry that Imran Khan had visited and wanted to apologise if any of his words hurt her sentiments," he told the judge's reader.
On September 22, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) deferred contempt proceedings against Imran after he offered to apologise to Chaudhry.
In its written order, the court observed that Imran Khan admitted that he “may have crossed a red line”.
Fawad Chaudhry says case already decided by IHC
In a reaction to the development, PTI leader and former information minister Fawad Chaudhry said that the issuance of a warrant against Imran Khan in such a weak case was a reckless move.
"Media spectacle has been created through bailable provisions and a foolish case that was not necessary," he tweeted.
"This case has been decided by the Islamabad High Court," he added.
'You will regret it,' Asad Umar warns govt
PTI secretary general Asad Umar said the government should not "make the mistake of detaining Imran Khan."
"You will regret it," he warned.
ICT Police says 'arrest warrant is a legal process'
Explaining the reasons for the warrant, the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Police said it was part of the "legal process."
In a statement, the ICT spokesperson said the "arrest warrant has been issued to ensure his [Imran Khan] appearance in court," adding that the PTI chairman didn't appear in court during the last hearing.
"The Honourable Supreme Court has issued an order to strike out the section of terrorism from case number 407/22," the statement said.
"After this order, the case was transferred to the session court," the statement noted, adding: "Imran Khan has not yet obtained his bail from the Sessions Court."
"In case of non-appearance, he can be arrested," the statement noted.
"People are requested not to listen to rumours," it added.