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IHC bars police from arresting Imaan Mazari in any FIR after Aug 20: lawyer



Human rights lawyer Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir’s counsel, Barrister Salman Akram Raja, on Wednesday said the Islamabad High Court (IHC) made it clear that his client could not be arrested in any cases registered after August 20, the day she was taken into custody.

In a video posted on X (formerly Twitter) by journalist Asad Toor, Barrister Raja can be heard explaining the IHC order in Imaan’s case, saying that that the court issued directives to present a record of all the FIRs registered against her throughout the country so that they could be reviewed by the judges.

“The court has said that since she was arrested on Aug 20, if any FIR is registered after that date, she will not be arrested in that,” her lawyer said.

“If this court can grant relief, we will take it from here otherwise from other concerned courts,” Barrister Raja further said. “Or we will file for a protective bail in this court.”

“We contended before the court that the fundamental rights mentioned in the law and Constitution are for every citizen of the country. If any citizen says something, no matter if you like it or not, even if you think that it shouldn’t have been said, despite all that, the Constitution trumps it.

“The Constitution is not just for people who say good things or say things that we want to hear. It is also for those who utter things that we think shouldn’t have been said.

“Now we will see what comes in the order tomorrow,” Barrister Raja further said. “Today’s hearing went pretty well.”

He also confirmed that the high court had ordered to not shift Mazari out of the jurisdiction of Islamabad in any case.

On Aug 20, Mazari and former lawmaker Ali Wazir were arrested “for investigation” hours after the activist posted on social media platform X that unidentified people were breaking into her home.

She was re-arrested outside the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi on Aug 28, hours after an Islamabad anti-terrorism court granted her bail in a sedition case.

Confirming the arrest, the Islamabad police had said Imaan was taken into custody in a terrorism case registered at the Bhara Kahu police station.

On Aug 29, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Islamabad had handed her over to the police on a three-day physical remand.

The fresh FIR has been sealed, but according to a copy seen by Dawn, the case was registered under Section 11-N of the Anti-Terrorism Act, as well as sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). Section 11-N of the ATA deals with punishment under sections 11-H to 11-K, which include charges of fund-raising, use and possession, funding arrangements, and money laundering for the purpose of terrorism.

The case was registered on Sunday at 1:15am in response to a complaint lodged by one Shahzad, resident of Nai Abadi Bhara Kahu, against Imaan, Wazir, and others, they added.

Sources had quoted the FIR as mentioning that a man, Kamran Khan, met Shahzad in the area of Bhara Kahu on August 8 and introduced himself as a human rights activist. He also told the complainant about human rights issues in his area, expressed his intention to work with him to improve the situation, and sought his assistance to achieve it, according to the report.

Additional reporting by Umer Burney


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India tells Canada to withdraw 41 diplomats: report



India has told Canada that it must repatriate 41 diplomats by October 10, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

Ties between New Delhi and Ottawa have become seriously strained over Canadian suspicion that Indian government agents had a role in the June murder in Canada of a Sikh separatist leader and Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who India had labelled a “terrorist”.

Nijjar, 45, was the president of Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara temple in Surrey, British Columbia and advocated for the creation of a Sikh state known as Khalistan.

India has dismissed the allegation as absurd.

On September 21, Trudeau called on India to cooperate with an investigation into the murder of the separatist leader in British Columbia and said Canada would not release its evidence for their claims.

India suspended new visas for Canadians and asked Ottawa to reduce its diplomatic presence in the country on the same day.

Last week, the Indian foreign minister spoke to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan about Canadian allegations of New Delhi’s possible involvement killing of the separatist leader in Canada.

Jaishankar said that New Delhi had told Canada it was open to looking into any “specific” or “relevant” information it provides on the killing.

Trudeau, who is yet to publicly share any evidence, said he has shared the “credible allegations” with India “many weeks ago”.

The Financial Times, citing people familiar with the Indian demand, said India had threatened to revoke the diplomatic immunity of those diplomats told to leave who remained after October 10.

Canada has 62 diplomats in India and India had said that the total should be reduced by 41, the newspaper said.

The Indian and Canadian foreign ministries did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said earlier there was a “climate of violence” and an “atmosphere of intimidation” against Indian diplomats in Canada, where the presence of Sikh separatist groups has frustrated New Delhi.


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Imran’s life ‘in danger’, moved to lower class cell in Adiala Jail: lawyer



Former prime minister Imran Khan’s lawyer, Naeem Haider Panjutha, claimed on Tuesday that the PTI chief was moved to a lower class cell at the Adiala Jail last night and feared the ex-premier’s life was in danger.

Imran was shifted to Attock jail on August 5, 2023, after a court sentenced him to three years in prison in the Toshakhana case for concealing details of gifts he received as the prime minister of Pakistan.

After his sentence in the Toshakhana case was suspended by the Islamabad High Court, the government detained the ex-premier in the cipher case. He has since remained behind bars on judicial remand.

On September 26, Imran was shifted to Central Jail Adiala from District Jail Attock following IHC orders passed on a plea filed by the PTI.

Last night, the police ramped up security in the vicinity of the Adiala jail by deploying elite commandos and setting up additional security pickets to ensure foolproof measures. The decision was taken in light of recommendations by the Special Branch and relevant departments following a survey of Adiala Jail.

Talking to reporters in Islamabad today, Panjutha, spokesman to Imran on legal affairs, said Imran’s wife Bushra Bibi met the former prime minister in Adiala Jail today.

“There is danger to Imran Khan’s life,” he claimed. “Imran can be slow food poisoned … he is being mentally tortured and his movement has been restricted.”

Panjutha alleged that he had received reports last night that the PTI chief was moved to a lower class cell. “Security personnel has been stationed outside the cell and mobile phones have been taken for them,” he said, claiming that these were new ways of “breaking” Imran.

The PTI lawyer added that a petition pertaining to Imran’s conditions in jail was filed in the IHC and the application was fixed for hearing on October 5.

“There were objection [by the court] earlier that the matter has already but decided but no directions have been passed on Imran Khan’s health, which is a basic fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution,” Panjutha added.


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LHC orders Punjab govt to ensure PTI leader Hassaan Niazi’s contact with father



The Lahore High Court on Tuesday directed the interim Punjab government to ensure that contact is established between incarcerated PTI leader Hassaan Niazi and his father within a fortnight.

The order comes on a petition filed by Hassaan’s father, Hafeezullah Niazi, who petitioned the court to recover and allow a meeting with his son, who is in military custody.

Hassaan, a barrister and nephew of PTI chairman Imran Khan, was in hiding after the May 9 riots. He was arrested from Abbottabad on August 13 and handed over to the military for trial over his alleged involvement in the attack on the Lahore corps commander’s house.

On August 15, Hassaan’s father, Hafeezullah, filed a petition in the LHC seeking recovery of his son.

Two days later, a military official wrote to the police, requesting it to hand over Hassaan’s custody to the military for “trial by the court martial”.

Before the LHC began hearing the father’s plea, the police submitted a report in the court on August 18, detailing the offences in which the former was found to be allegedly involved.

The report was submitted by Punjab Additional Advocate General (AAG) Ghulam Sarwar while Justice Sultan Tanveer presided over the hearing.

The AAG informed the LHC in the hearing, “Hassaan Niazi has been handed over to the military”. He added that Hassaan was “named in the Jinnah House attack case and was a main suspect”.

The interim Punjab government told LHC in the hearing on August 26 that visiting a suspect in military custody was not allowed under any law.

Additional Advocate General Ghulam Sarwar Nahang stated in the hearing that the SC had already taken note of the trials of the May 9 suspects in military court and the question of the suspects’ meeting with family members was also pending before it.

He said proceedings in the high court on the same question of law would complicate the matter.

On September 28, barrister Faiz Ullah Khan Niazi submitted that 45 days have passed and since then the petitioner has been unaware of the whereabouts of his son.

In today’s hearing, a single-member bench comprising Justice Sultan Tanvir Ahmad ordered the Punjab government to establish contact between Hassaan and his father within a fortnight.

According to the written order, a copy of which is available with, the petitioner’s lawyer told the court his client would be satisfied if he was allowed to establish contact with his son.

According to the order, the government officials maintained that since the matter is still pending adjudication before the apex court, it is “in the fitness of the circumstances to adjourn the case till the decision is passed by the Supreme Court”.


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