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LHC gives last chance to Imran Khan to appear in protective bail plea

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LHC gives last chance to Imran Khan to appear in protective bail plea

The Lahore High Court has given time till 5pm to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan to appear before it in a case pertaining to protest outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). 

The former prime minister was expected to appear before the Lahore High Court (LHC) to attend hearing of the protective bail plea filed by him but his lawyers told the high court that The Mall was clogged and he could be brought to court only if the passage was clear. 

Strict security measures have already been taken at the high court to avoid any untoward situation as Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh has suspended hearing of all other cases. The former prime minister is awaiting written permission from court regarding entry of his vehicle on LHC premises.

Justice Sheikh inquired from PTI chief’s lawyer Khwaja Tariq Rahim about the 2pm time given for Imran Khan’s appearance. The lawyer said Mr Khan was on the way but there was some issue in his travel due to security concerns. The judge replied that he was not bound to solve the security issue and stressed that only relevant lawyers should appear in court so as to avoid undue crowd. 

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Advocate Rahim also admitted that the bail petition was not suspended by Imran Khan.

Justice Sheikh also remarked that the law was same for everyone. Imran Khan, he said, should come from where every common man comes.

Meanwhile, PTI leaders Hammad Azhar and Farrukh Habib have confirmed that Mr Khan would appear before the court later in the day. In a tweet, Mr Azhar wrote, “Imran Khan will reach high court by 4pm”.

Earlier, Imran Khan’s private team visited the high court and reviewed security in and around the court. PTI chief’s lawyer Azhar Siddique and party leaders, including Shibli Faraz and Shah Mahmood Qureshi, reached court. It is for the first time that Mr Khan will appear before a court since an assassination attempt on him in October last. 

Earlier in the day, an administrative judge of the LHC rejected a petition seeking permission for entry of PTI chairman Imran Khan’s vehicle on court premise owing to security threats. 

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Justice Abid Aziz Shaikh announced the verdict on the petition filed by PTI leader Shibli Faraz for security clearance for the party chief. The request was made in view of the threats to the former premier who was wounded last year in an assassination attempt in Wazirabad.

On Thursday, a two-member bench headed by Justice Baqar Najfi turned down an identical petition after the PTI chief failed to appear before the court despite giving him multiple chances. However, a single bench provided him another opportunity to appear on Monday.

During the last hearing, Justice Abid Aziz Shaikh also took notice of difference in the signatures of Imran Khan on the affidavit — attached with the bail petition — and the power of attorney. While calling the matter serious, the judge remarked that a contempt notice could be issued to the petition or the counsel.

When Mr Khan’s counsel said the PTI chief owned his signatures, Justice Shaikh said the petitioner should appear in person to record the statement. The judge later adjourned the hearing till Feb 20.

Mr Khan filed the protective bail petition after an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in the federal capital cancelled his bail in the case registered against him for violent protest outside the ECP office last year. 

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Asad Umar

PTI leader Asad Umar in a media talk said there were some security requisites about Imran Khan’s appearance in court. Imran, he said, was not an ordinary Pakistani citizen and an assassination attempt had been made on him. Moreover, he said, Imran Khan could not bear the rigours as advised by his doctors. He said it’s not a matter of ego.

Shibli Faraz

Former federal minister Shibli Faraz questioned who would be responsible if Mr Khan was harmed [during his commute to the LHC]. “Mr Imran has appeared before the court 25 times before he was shot at in Wazirabad but the reason for his [recent] absence from the court is bi-fold; his injury and security concerns”, he added.

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4.3 magnitude earthquake jolts parts of Punjab

4.3 magnitude earthquake jolts parts of Punjab

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4.3 magnitude earthquake jolts parts of Punjab

An earthquake measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale struck various parts of Punjab including Lahore on Monday 

People came out of their homes in panic and started reciting verses from the Holy Quran. No loss of life and property was reported in any part of Punjab. 

According to the National Seismic Monitoring Centre, Islamabad, the epicentre of the earthquake was located five kilometres south of Sheikhupura at the depth of 45 kilometres.

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Pakistan Army shoots down Indian quadcopter on LoC

Pakistan Army shoots down Indian quadcopter on LoC

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Pakistan Army shoots down Indian quadcopter on LoC

Pakistan Army has shot down a spy quadcopter of Indian Army on the Line of Control (LoC).

According to a statement issued by the Public Relations Department of the Pakistan Army (ISPR), on Monday, an Indian Air Force quadcopter spying on Pakistan was shot down.

The ISPR said that the army has found the downed quadcopter inside Pakistani territory.

It may be recalled that it is the fifth anniversary of Operation Swift Retort today. On February 27, 2019, the Pakistan Air Force shot down Indian fighter planes that violated Pakistani airspace. 

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PTI founder, Bushra Bibi indicted in 190m pound case

PTI founder, Bushra Bibi indicted in 190m pound case

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PTI founder, Bushra Bibi indicted in 190m pound case

 An accountability court indicted the PTI founder and his wife Bushra Bibi in the ill-famous 190 million pound case – also previously known as Al-Qadir Trust case – as the judge, Nasir Javed Rana, held hearing at the Adiala jail.

All the cases involving the former PTI chairman are being heard at the jail premises – where he is imprisoned – because of the security threats, for which Bushra Bibi was shifted from her Bani Gala residence where she is serving her sentences in two cases – Toshakhana and illegal/un-Islamic marriage.

Meanwhile, her husband has so far been convicted in three cases – cipher, Toshakhana and illegal/un-Islamic marriage.

During the proceedings, the two accused pleaded not guilty, as the judge adjourned proceedings till March 6 while also summoning five witnesses to record their statements on next hearing.

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However, the accountability court accepted two pleas filed by the PTI founder, requesting permission for an appointment with his dentist and general physician.

Previously, the indictment had been postponed on several occasions due to the absence of Mohammad Bashir – the accountability court judge who is set to retire on March 14 and has applied for leave preparatory to retirement (LPR).

However, the law ministry last week appointed District and Sessions Judge Rana as an Accountability Court No 1 Islamabad judge to replace Bashir who went on leave on deputation for a period of three years. 

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