ISLAMABAD: PTI leader Asad Umar has requested the chief justice of Pakistan to take notice of the treatment meted out to former prime minister Imran Khan in Islamabad as well as Lahore and initiate suo motu proceedings.

In a letter, Mr Umar, who is also the PTI’s secretary general, appealed to the CJP that if the federal government was not stopped from “acting illegally” and arresting Mr Khan, he may face unseen consequences.

“To save and protect his fundamental rights to life, the letter may be taken up as suo motu jurisdiction,” said the letter which was delivered by former National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser to CJP Umar Ata Bandial’s residence.

In the letter issued to the media through a press release, Mr Umar stated that in the prevailing circumstances, he has firm reasons to believe that state authorities, at the behest of the federal government, were ‘bent to compromise the liberty of the former prime minister’ in the most unlawful manner.

Asad Umar writes letter to CJP Bandial

It has been reiterated by Mr Khan time and again that his life was at stake and he may be killed, the letter recalled.

The letter explained that Mr Khan has been granted protective bail in nine cases by the Lahore High Court which also ordered state authorities to refrain from taking coercive measures against the PTI chief.

It has been revealed that Mr Khan’s Lahore residence has been stormed by the police and doors and walls have been raised to the ground, Mr Umar claimed in the letter.

It added that the Islamabad police, in order to create terror and harassment, has blocked roads leading to the Judicial Complex — where Mr Khan was set to appear — and blocked the motorway and other highways to create hurdles “in Mr Khan’s lawful endeavour in pursuant to the court directions”.

The unlawful and illegal actions are being carried out with the intention to arrest Mr Khan in certain cases that are not in his knowledge, the letter stated, adding

that his lawyers and journalists were not allowed access to the Judicial Complex during Mr Khan’s appearance.

Mr Khan’s fundamental right to access justice and a fair trial has been hampered and compromised by the police and law enforcement agencies.

The letter was written on the day Mr Khan appeared before a district judge on the directives of the Islamabad High Court (IHC).Earlier, the judge had issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for Mr Khan in the Toshakhana case which was suspended by the IHC on Friday.

The court had directed Mr Khan to appear before the judge on the date summoned.

Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2023

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