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Islamabad High Court Grants Imran Khan Permission To Hold Election Meetings in Jail

Islamabad High Court Grants Imran Khan Permission To Hold Election Meetings in Jail

On Friday, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) granted permission to PTI leaders and legal representatives to visit the incarcerated former Prime Minister, Imran Khan, at Adiala Jail.

The court order, issued by Justice Miangul Hasan Aurangzeb, followed a petition filed by Imran seeking approval for meetings with party members such as Asad Qaiser, Junaid Akbar Khan, senators Aurangzeb Khan and Dost Mohammad Khan, and Ishtiaq Meherban, among others, to strategize ahead of the February 8 polls.

The plea also requested the court to instruct the superintendent of Adiala Jail to ensure privacy for Imran during consultations with his legal team. With the election schedule released, activities related to the upcoming polls have commenced within major political party camps.

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The election program is now in full swing, with the deadline for filing nomination papers concluded on Sunday. Returning officers are set to scrutinize the nomination papers from December 25 to December 30.

Previously, PTI Chairman Gohar Khan had stated that the decision to allocate tickets would remain under Imran’s purview. Barrister Ali Zafar emphasized that PTI workers in jail would be given priority in the ticket allotment process.

During the court proceedings today, Attorney-General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan, PTI lawyers, and the Adiala Jail superintendent appeared before the IHC.

PTI counsel Shoaib Shaheen asserted the party’s need for discussions regarding the allotment of 700 tickets, while the AGP raised objections to the maintainability of the plea.

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Justice Aurangzeb expressed displeasure at the arguments presented, referencing Justice Athar Minallah’s note in the cipher case.

The judge highlighted the Election Commission of Pakistan and the government’s duty to ensure a genuine election and prevent any perception of favoritism or oppression against one political party.

In response, Justice Aurangzeb criticized the AGP and advocate general for not maintaining impartiality, stating that they represent the caretaker government. The court ultimately allowed PTI lawyers to hold consultations with Imran in jail, emphasizing the fundamental right to discuss election strategies.

The judge stressed the importance of neutrality during elections and dismissed the petition, expressing concerns about the caretaker government’s stance.

PTI lawyer Shaheen, speaking to reporters, criticized the caretakers, questioning their neutrality, and accused them of being influenced by external forces. He asserted that Imran Khan and the nation are aligned, and the public stands with Imran Khan.

He criticized the credibility of the caretaker government and highlighted police mistreatment of PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi outside Adiala Jail earlier in the week.