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Court orders Imran Khan to appear before investigation officer in prohibited funding case

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  • Banking court judge reserves verdict on Khan’s plea for extension in pre-arrest bail.
  • Turns down Khan’s request to be interrogated at his Zaman Park residence in Lahore.
  • Says investigation officer can hold interrogation wherever and however he wants.

A banking court in Islamabad on Thursday directed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan to ensure his presence before the investigation officer (IO) in the prohibited funding case being pursued against his party.

In the bail plea, the PTI chief’s lawyers had urged the court to stop the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) from arresting Khan in the case pertaining to financial irregularities in the party’s funding.

Today, the directive was issued as the court announced a reserved verdict on Khan’s plea for an extension in pre-arrest bail.

At the outset of the hearing, Special Prosecutor Rizwan Abbasi requested the court to reject the former premier’s plea, while the petitioner’s lawyer asked the court to give a two-week extension on medical grounds.

Khan’s lawyer also requested an exemption for the PTI chief to appear before the court for today’s hearing.

The prosecutor maintained that Khan has been politically active since the assassination bid on his life during PTI’s long march rally in Wazirabad in November.

“He is running the political affairs but doesn’t appear in the court,” Abbasi said while requesting the court to reject his plea for exemption.

He claimed that Khan neither appeared in the court nor joined the probe, asking the court to tell the investigation officer to visit the PTI chief at his Zaman Park residence in Lahore. 

When asked about the reason for Khan’s absence from investigations, his lawyer said that there were many reasons he couldn’t appear before the investigation officer despite “his willingness”.

He said that Khan was injured in an assassination bid and he would appear before IO as soon as the doctors allow him.

At this, prosecutor Abbasi maintained that the investigation officer could not go to Lahore for interrogation.

“Imran Khan appears on TV but not in the courts,” Rizwan said while requesting the court to take back the decision of Khan’s interim bail. 

Judge Rakhshanda Shaheen turned down the request by Khan’s lawyer to interrogate the former premier at his Zaman Park residence in Lahore.

“The investigation officer can hold investigations wherever and however he wants, the court will not interfere,” the judge remarked.

Meanwhile, the judge asked Khan’s lawyer to assist the court with why shouldn’t it withdraw the interim bail.

She directed Khan to join the probe to ensure his presence before the IO under any circumstances and adjourned the hearing till January 31.

FIA kickstarts investigation in prohibited funding case

FIA kickstarted its countrywide investigation into the utilisation of funds from “prohibited” sources by PTI after an Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) ruling that the party secured illegal donations, in August 2022.

On August 2, 2022, the ECP in a unanimous verdict said it had found that the PTI received prohibited funding.

The commission found that donations were taken from America, Australia, Canada and the UAE.

The case — earlier referred to as a “foreign funding” case — was filed in November 2014 when the party’s founding member Akbar S Babar alleged gross financial irregularities in the party’s funding from both Pakistan and abroad. 

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After taking an oath to lead JI, Hafiz Naeem declares an anti-government movement.

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The JI’s headquarters, Mansoora, hosted an oath-taking ceremony that was attended by workers, party leaders, and former chief of the party Sirajul Haq, Liaqat Baloch, and others from around the nation.

Speaking at the event, Hafiz Naeem—who was elected as the JI’s sixth Ameer—reaffirmed the party’s commitment to advancing its principles and goals and stated that he believed the JI would lead the nation as a whole.

He added that his party would start a broad campaign against the “fake democratic” process and Form 47, which the government “imposed.” He went on, “Workers should get ready for the movement.”

Hafiz Naeem further urged the JI to collaborate with like-minded groups who feel that the public mandate was “stolen” on February 8.

Hafiz Naeem succeeded Maulana Abul Ala Maududi (1941–72), Sirajul Haq (2013–2024), Qazi Hussain Ahmed (1987–2008), Munawer Hassan (2008–2013), and Mian Tufail Muhammad (1972–87) as the sixth individual to occupy the top spot in the party.

Sirajul Haq was replaced as Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan by Hafiz Naeem, who was elected earlier on April 4.

Voting was done by some 45,000 party members nationwide, according to the election commission that the JIP’s Majlis-e-Shura created.

Approximately 6,000 female party members participated in the election process, according to the election commission. There was a registered turnout of 82 percent overall.

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Hamid Raza says Nawaz Sharif used the Faizabad sit-in to criticize institutions.

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The individual asserted that they had proof of the PML-N’s betrayal during the 2017 Faizabad sit-in, citing knowledge of the protest from both General Faiz Hameed (Retd) and former Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa (Retd).

The PML-N workers in Rawalpindi were instructed to make sure that people participated in the sit-in, while the then-Punjab administration assisted in organizing it, according to Hamid Raza.

The head of the SIC said that while the goals of the Faizabad sit-in were correct, the event was deliberately planned to include individuals who carried signs criticizing government agencies.

During the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) sit-in, he said, workers for the PML-N were also among those who received money.

Remember that the investigation commission cleared former spy chief Faiz Hameed of all charges when it was established to look into the 2017 sit-in at the Faizabad Interchange in Islamabad.

To protest the changes made to the Election Act of 2017, which changed the word “oath” to “declaration,” the TLP staged a sit-in at the Faizabad junction on November 8, 2017.

In a submission to the Supreme Court, former PEMRA chairman Absar Alam said that pressure was applied to the media regulating body during the Faizabad sit-in by former ISI commander Faiz Hameed.

After the Fact-Finding Committee report was rejected by the Supreme Court, the federal government formed an inquiry commission led by retired Inspector General Akhtar Ali Shah.

The probe panel, however, handed the former intelligence head the clean pass in its 149-page report, which was released Thursday.

Faiz Hameed was granted authorization for the arrangement, according to the commission, by the then-DG ISI and Army Chief. Additionally included in the article was the inclusion of Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and then-Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in the arrangement.

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The IHC upholds Bushra Bibi’s request to be transferred from Bani Gala to Adiala Jail.

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Bushra Bibi’s request to be transferred from Bani Gala to Adiala Jail was granted by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday.

The former first lady Bushra Bibi’s application to be transferred from Bani Gala sub-jail to Adiala was heard today.

Details reveal that the Islamabad High Court heard a motion to restore the denied petition about the relocation of Bushra Bibi, the wife of PTI founder, from sub-jail Bani Gala to Adiala.

The application for the reinstatement of appeal was heard by Justice Miagul Hassan Aurangzeb. When state attorney Abdul Rehman entered the courtroom on behalf of the state, Usman Riaz Gill represented the former first lady.

State counsel did not object to the appeal being restored during court proceedings. At the following hearing, the court asked for assistance in determining what conditions must be met for a location to be designated as a sub-jail.

The court also mandated that Bushra Bibi’s medical examination be scheduled. The court subsequently delayed the hearing and gave instructions to fix the appeal for April 22.

Recall that the attorneys for former first lady Bushra Bibi, Barrister Salman Safdar, Usman Riaz Gill, and Khalid Yusuf Chaudhary, had filed an application to restore the dismissed appeal a day ago, but the Islamabad High Court had denied their request to pursue the case.

The petition contended that the traffic gridlock at the Sarina Chowk checkpoint was the reason for the delay in getting to the court.

The attorneys did not purposefully take their time getting to court. They warned that the petitioner would suffer irreversible loss if the petition was not resurrected.

IHC Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb has voiced his displeasure at the absence of attorneys from the court.

According to Judge Aurangzeb, the former first lady would have been imprisoned if Bushra Bibi’s attorneys had prevailed in this case. The attorneys themselves were opposed to Bushra Bibi’s incarceration.

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