IHC allows Imran Khan to hold election meetings with PTI leaders


ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has granted permission to PTI leaders and legal representatives to visit former prime minister Imran Khan, who is currently detained at Adiala Jail, and conduct election meetings leading up to the February 8 polls.

Justice Miangul Hasan Aurangzeb passed the order in response to Imran’s petition seeking approval to strategize with party members like Asad Qaiser, Junaid Akbar Khan, senators Aurangzeb Khan and Dost Mohammad Khan, and Ishtiaq Meherban ahead of the elections.

The plea also urged the court to ensure privacy for Imran during these consultations with his legal team.

As the election schedule unfolds, political activities are gaining momentum within major party circles. The election programme is in full swing, having concluded the nomination paper filing deadline on Sunday. Nomination papers will now be examined by returning officers from December 25 to December 30.

Earlier, PTI Chairman Gohar Khan affirmed Imran’s role in ticket allocation decisions. Barrister Ali Zafar highlighted that PTI members in custody would be given priority in ticket distribution.

During the court session, PTI lawyers, the Attorney-General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan, and the superintendent of Adiala Jail were present. PTI counsel Shoaib Shaheen emphasized the necessity for discussions concerning the allocation of 700 tickets, while the AGP raised objections about the petition’s validity.

Justice Aurangzeb expressed dissatisfaction with the AGP’s arguments and referenced a note from Justice Athar Minallah in the cipher case. He reprimanded the AGP, questioning their impartiality as representatives of the caretaker government.

Asserting that consultations regarding elections are a fundamental right, Justice Aurangzeb emphasized the caretaker government’s obligation to remain neutral during elections. The court allowed PTI lawyers, including Chairman Gohar Khan, to confer with Imran in jail under the superintendent’s supervision.

The judge concluded by expressing concerns about the impartiality of the interim government and disposed of the petition.

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