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Imran rules out ‘deal’, vows never to leave Pakistan: lawyer



TAXILA: PTI Chairman Imran Khan, who is incarcerated in Attock Jail has ruled out “any deal to seek his release and asserted he would never leave Pakistan,” his lawyers claimed, after meeting the ex-prime minister.

Talking to journalists outside the prison following the meeting on Saturday, Advocate Shoaib Shaheen said Mr Khan has “ruled out any deal” and termed the perception of him settling abroad as baseless propaganda to dent his popularity. Mr Khan stated he neither has assets nor bank accounts abroad, according to Mr Shaheen.

The PTI chairman also called early, fair and transparent elections “the panacea of all political, economic and financial crises” that gripped the country during the 16-month rule of the PDM.

In his message for the nation, Mr Khan urged the masses to stand for their rights and that he would never bow down to the tactics of the establishment and was ready to remain behind bars for 100 years, according to Mr Shaheen.

Court proceedings on bail pleas of PTI chief, Qureshi deferred without any progress

The PTI chief was “worried about the people of Pakistan” amid the “deteriorating economic situation”.

The counsel also stated that all “180 cases” against the former premier were “politically engineered” and he had been granted bail in most of the cases.

The legal team would file for bail in the remaining cases soon, Mr Shaheen said, Mr Khan’s physician, Dr Faisal Sultan and other members of his legal team, including Salman Safdar, Ali Ijaz Buttar, Sheraz Ahmed Ranjha, Barrister Gohar Ali Khan, Naeem Haider Panjutha and Intazar Hussain Panjutha, were also present during the meeting.

Talking to reporters, Mr Naeem said the PTI chairman was “completely fine and healthy”.

The PTI chief’s legal team has also rejected the transfer of the cipher case against the former prime minister to Attock Jail, according to Mr Naeem.

The meeting between Mr Khan and his lawyers took place after a special court — formed to try the PTI chief and other accused in the cipher case — granted the permission on Friday.

Mr Khan was also allowed to meet his physician, Dr Sultan.

Bail plea proceedings deferred

Separately, the special court judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain adjourned the hearing of post-arrest bail petitions filed by Mr Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

The Saturday proceedings were def­e­r­­red without any headway since the validity of the special court, formed un­­der the Official Secrets Act, was under scru­tiny in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

The PTI chairman had challenged the law ministry’s notification to assign Judge Zulqarnain to the special court.

Mr Khan’s counsel informed the judge that IHC has issued notices to the relevant authorities in the case, while a separate plea has been filed against the decision to move the trial of Mr Khan in the cipher case to Attock.

The FIA’s prosecutor argued the PTI chairman had filed an application in the IHC challenging the special court’s jurisdiction and since the case was sub judice, the court should adjourn the hearing.

The judge concurred with the suggestion and adjourned the proceeding till Monday.

Malik Asad in Islamabad also contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2023


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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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