ATC judge delivers reserved verdict, cites failure to appear before court as grounds for dismissal

ISLAMABAD:

An anti-terrorism court in Islamabad cancelled the bail of former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan in three cases on Tuesday.

ATC Judge Abul Hasnaat Zulfiqar announced the reserved verdict, which said that Imran’s bail is being cancelled due to his absence from court.

The PTI chief had sought bail in two cases lodged against him at Khana Police Station and one at Bharakahu Police Station .

Imran was arrested on August 5, 2023, after a district and sessions court in Islamabad sentenced him to three years in prison for failing to disclose details of Toshakhana gifts. Judge Humayun Dilawar delivered the verdict on the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) complaint against the former premier.

 

“His dishonesty has been established beyond doubt,” Judge Humayun Dilawar wrote in the ruling. “He has been found guilty of corrupt practices by hiding the benefits he accrued from national exchequer wilfully and intentionally.”

 

This is the PTI chief’s second arrest in three months. He is currently serving time in Attock Jail.

Last week, an ATC in Lahore dismissed Imran’s bail in seven cases while an accountability court in Islamabad rejected his bail application in a 190 million pound graft case.

Over 150 cases have been brought against the former premier since his ouster from office through a vote of no-confidence in April 2022.

Eyes on caretaker PM

Meanwhile, speaking to the media after an appearance before an ATC in Islamabad on Tuesday, PTI stalwart and former foreign affairs minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that tensions between political parties are escalating.

It is up to interim Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar to do justice, said Qureshi, adding that female workers and supporters of the PTI should be released.

Refusing legal access to the PTI chief would be an injustice, he added.

Qureshi claimed that Kakar is not Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party’s choice (PPP). Referring to former defence minister Khawaja Asif’s comments during a recent news segment, Qureshi said that the two mainstream parties, leading the coalition government formed under the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) banner, had agreed on Dr Muhammad Malik.

The PTI will hold a core committee meeting today, said Qureshi, adding that the beleaguered party expects Kakar to form a “neutral” cabinet and hold “free and fair” elections.

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