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ISLAMABAD: The Anti-Terrorism Court on Thursday extended the interim bail of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan till March 21 in a case registered against him after demonstrations were held following his disqualification by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in the Toshakhana case.

Judge Raja Nasir Abbas, while announcing a reserved judgment, extended an interim bail after the announcement of an Islamabad High Court (IHC) verdict and approved his application seeking exemption from personal appearance before the court for one day.

At the start of the hearing, the judge said that we wait for the IHC’s judgment on a plea filed by the PTI chief seeking an extension in interim bail.

Khan’s lawyer Naeem Haider Panjutha filed an application seeking an exemption from a personal appearance before the court for one day. “Yesterday we have filed an application regarding the security of Khan,” he told the court.

The court observed that there was no signature on that application except yours. The judge inquired about Khan’s lead counsel Salman Safdar. Did he [Salman Safdar] also face security issues, the judge further asked.

Panjutha told the court that Safdar is currently in Lahore and appeared before the court in another case. The Zaman park residence of Khan has been cordoned-off from all sides, he said.

He said that his client appeared before the court at the Federal Judicial Complex (FJC) and then a case has been registered against him. As far as Imran Khan was allowed to come to the courtroom, the judge said.

The court after hearing arguments reserved its judgment.

Meanwhile, Senior Civil Judge Rana Mujahid Rahim while hearing a case pertaining to using controversial remarks against Additional Sessions Judge Zeba Chaudhry and two top police officers of Islamabad police against Imran Khan extended his interim bail till March 13.

Khan’s lawyer Panjutha, while arguing before the court over Khan’s exemption application, said that his client’s health condition does not allow him to travel to Islamabad. He said that his client respects the court and wanted to appear before it. We have filed an application to allow Khan to appear before the court on the video link, he said.

Our client is facing threats to life, he said, adding that keeping in view the security of his client, he may be granted exemption from the personal appearance before the court. The court after hearing the arguments extended Khan’s interim bail till March 13.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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