An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Thursday has granted bail to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan till September 12 on a surety bond of Rs100,000 in the terrorism case against him.
The hearing of the case had commenced around 10 am but was adjourned till noon after the ATC had ordered the former premier to appear before the court for his bail plea hearing.
Imran Khan arrived at the Islamabad ATC amid tight security and the proceedings commenced under Judge Raja Jawad Abbas, who ordered the prosecutor to grant the PTI chairman interim bail in the four new charges added to the first information report (FIR) in the case.
The bail on the new provisions was granted against a bond of Rs100,000 as Imran’s lawyer Babar Awan ensured that the deposed prime minister was granted bail for all the Sections under which he was charged with terrorism.
At the onset of the hearing, Awan told the judge that “Imran Khan has reached the courtroom on your orders.”
He questioned if Imran Khan had “threatened to burn someone to death” and argued that lawyers had in the past been martyred but no action was taken, however, “a terrorism case has been made against the former premier”.
At this, the judge stated that final arguments would be heard in the next hearing on September 12.
Imran’s life ‘in danger’
Earlier, the court ordered Imran to appear before the court at noon for the hearing of his bail plea.
Last month, the ATC in Islamabad had accepted the deposed premier’s pre-arrest bail plea in the case and had ordered him to appear before the court on September 1 (today).
Imran Khan was booked in a terrorism case on the complaint of Islamabad Saddar Magistrate Ali Javed for threatening the additional sessions judge of the federal capital, Zeba Chaudhry, during a PTI rally in F9 Park.
During the hearing earlier today, the former premier’s counsel Awan appeared before the court, while journalists and other lawyers were banned from entering the judicial complex.
The court remarked that Imran Khan would have to appear before the court in person, to which Awan argued that the Islamabad Police had informed the PTI leader that his life was in danger.
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ATC Judge Abbas said that the arguments for the bail application would be heard today, while the prosecutor asked the court to present the accused after which the court would proceed.
The court ordered the reading of the threatened individual’s statement for the record of the case.
The judge asked the prosecutor whether terrorism charges were ever registered without a crime, maintaining that the court was typically informed of the weapons involved.
Imran’s lawyer requested the court to give them time till 12 pm to produce the PTI chief before the court. He, however, warned that if anything happened to his client the inspector general and director inspector general of operations would be held “responsible”.
The court questioned what danger Imran faced, adding that it had granted him bail earlier.
“If the court has granted him bail, it is his duty to appear before the court,” the judge remarked, to which Awan reiterated that Imran wanted to come but police personnel said his life was in danger.
The lawyer further stated that four additional sections – Section 504, 506, 186 and 188 – had been added in the terror case against Imran and pleaded that the court grants him bail for these provisions as well.
Judge Abbas stated that the court would issue notices in this regard.
Subsequently, the anti-terrorism court adjourned the hearing till noon and summoned Imran Khan.
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It is noteworthy that the former prime minister was absent from the court during the interim bail hearing held on August 22.
Ahead of Imran Khan’s appearance in the ATC, tight security arrangements were made with 527 police personnel deployed. The police blocked the way to the court by installing barbed wire and banned the entry of irrelevant people.
PTI leaders ‘law-abiding people’
Former ruling party’s leaders Senator Faisal Javed, Kanwal Shauzab and Ali Nawaz Awan arrived at the court prior to the hearing.
Talking to media personnel, Faisal Javed said that Imran Khan’s life was in danger and that this treatment towards someone who had a government in several provinces was “sad”.
He maintained that the PTI members and leader were “law-abiding people” and Imran was being charged with terrorism for “raising his voice against torture”.
Ali Awan told people to observe what would happen if Imran was arrested, questioning what Pakistan’s image would be before the world.
He maintained that “a terrorism case was registered against the man who raised his voice for peace, who raised his voice against Islamophobia” and furthered that his party had not made a political case against anyone.
“If Pakistan has a real leader after Quaid-e-Azam, it is Imran Khan,” Ali Awan said.