PTI up in arms against ‘biased ruling’

LAHORE:

Reacting to the Islamabad court’s ruling that landed former premier Imran Khan behind bars,

for the second time in three months, the PTI and the legal fraternity came up in arms on Saturday against condemning the decision, announcing the decision to hold nationwide protests and seeking legal redress.

Shortly after the PTI chief’s arrest in the Toshakhana case, the party’s core committee issued a strong statement declaring the arrest a result of “a biased and flawed judicial decision” and urging the Supreme Court to hear the party’s review petition without any delay. It urged party workers to hold peaceful protests within the bounds of the law.

Simultaneously, joining the chorus, the legal community alleged that “hidden forces” were at play in the hasty decision, seeking to undermine the strengthening of the democratic system in the country.  They warned the political leaders within the ruling alliance extolling the verdict to consider the consequences they themselves may face the same fate tomorrow.

The rejection of the court’s decision by both the PTI and the legal fraternity has heightened political tensions as the country gears up for the upcoming elections, originally slated for November but potentially facing further delays.

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The court’s decision also plunges Imran into deeper legal jeopardy, as it represents just one of the several cases filed against him, and marks the second instance in three months that he finds himself under arrest.

‘Do not silently at home’

Shortly after Imran’s arrest in the Toshakhana case, the party released a pre-recorded video message from the embattled leader, urging his supporters to stage peaceful protests until their rights are granted.

In the video message, Imran anticipated his arrest and expressed his determination to continue the fight for justice. “By the time you hear this statement, they will have arrested me. It is one more step in fulfilling the London Plan, but I want my party workers to remain peaceful, steadfast, and strong,” he asserted.

“I have only one appeal: do not sit silently at home. I am struggling for you, for the country, and for your children’s future. This is a battle for your rights and freedom, and I implore you to continue the protest. If people do not stand up for their rights, they will remain slaves, and slaves have no life. We bow before no one but Allah, who is Al-Haq, and we believe in La Illaha Illallah.”

The PTI chief urged his supporters not to be afraid of the oppressive actions of the rulers, reminding them that Pakistan was established on the principles of freedom.

‘Fake trial’

Meanwhile, the PTI’s core committee held an emergency meeting through video link, chaired by PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi. The meeting deliberated on the decision in the Toshakhana case and the arrest of the PTI chairman and devise a future strategy for his release.

Rejecting the conviction of the former premier, it declared the arrest a result of a biased and flawed judicial decision and gave a call for a nationwide peaceful protest.

The committee also appealed to the Supreme Court of Pakistan for a swift hearing of the party’s review petition. “Our appeal should be fixed for a hearing on a priority basis without considering holidays and other routines,” they demanded.

In light of the instructions left by the chairman, the party agreed to implement the organisational and political strategy immediately.

The meeting noted that the whole nation has rejected “the wrong decision of a biased judge” and claimed that “the whole facade of implicating Imran was a pre-arranged plan”.

The members of the party’s core committee further alleged that the decision was delivered through “a fake trial”.

They also pointed out that the constitution gave them the right to hold a peaceful protest. “We would hold protests in the light of our chairman’s advice and instructions. We will be peacefully and within the framework of the Constitution and law,” it added.

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The committee expressed their unwavering determination to fight a comprehensive legal battle to secure the release of their leader and urged the party workers to hold peaceful protests within the bounds of the law.

‘Imran denied fundamental rights’

Moreover, in a video message, PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that the people see the verdict against the norms of justice. He claimed that Imran was denied his fundamental right to a fair trial and urged the party supporters to continue efforts for the release of their leader.

However, urged the supporter against taking the law into their hands.

In his tweet, PTI senior leader and former federal minister Asad Umar said that the decision did not meet the basic principle of law and justice. “This decision would not stand in the high court,” he said and added that meaningful decisions about politicians were made in the hearts of the people, not in the courts.

Meanwhile, office-bearers of the Lahore High Court Bar Association said the hasty decision in the case was against the norms of fair trial, law and justice.

He alleged the verdict was announced in gross violation of the law, adding that the additional district and sessions judge ignored the recent ruling of the Islamabad High Court in announcing the decision.

‘Hidden powers at play’

In a joint statement, Lahore High Court Bar Association President Chaudhry Ishtiaq Ahmad Khan, Vice President Rabia Bajwa and Finance Secretary Muhammad Shahrukh Warriach said it was very unfortunate that the PTI chairman was denied his right of self-defence.

They said the hasty decision indicated that hidden forces were behind the verdict “who do not want to strengthen the democratic system in the country”.

They noted that it was also a matter of concern that political leaders in the ruling alliance were supporting the powers “but they should keep in mind that they may have to face the same fate tomorrow”.


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