Unannounced martial law’ imposed in Pakistan, Imran Khan tells SC


ISLAMABAD – Imran Khan, the imprisoned founder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), voiced grievances about the “victimization” he has endured since his removal from office in April 2022. This statement was made during the Supreme Court’s hearing on the NAB amendments case.

Khan participated in the hearing via video link from Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail, where he has been held following his conviction in the Toshakhana case last year.

The Supreme Court’s five-member bench, led by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa and including Justice Aminuddin, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Justice Athar Minallah, and Justice Hasan Azhar Rizvi, presided over the case.

During his address, Khan alleged that an unofficial “martial law” had been enacted in the country. He claimed that his swift conviction within five days was a deliberate move to exclude him from the upcoming general elections.

Imran Khan highlighted the economic crisis, contrasting the remittances from abroad with the elite sending their money out of the country. The Chief Justice pointed out that Khan was mixing two issues.

Justice Athar Minallah acknowledged the misfortune of Khan being in jail, given his significant following. Khan lamented the alleged injustice, claiming an undeclared martial law and expressing hope in the Supreme Court.

Justice Mandokhail blamed politicians for the country’s issues, while the Chief Justice stopped Khan from discussing pending cases like the cipher case. The Chief Justice encouraged Khan to meet and discuss with parliament members, reminding him that they are not enemies.

The PPP lawyer affirmed their readiness to engage in dialogue with all parties. The Chief Justice questioned Khan’s decision to grant amnesty and expressed distrust in NAB’s recovery figures. The court demanded a ten-year budget record from NAB and criticized misleading documents.

Justice Athar Minallah referenced his dissenting note, mentioning the PTI’s three-year tenure, while Justice Jamal Mandokhail advised that jail time could mature politicians. Khan claimed to have observed NAB court operations during his imprisonment.

Justice Ameenuddin questioned which NAB amendments violated fundamental rights, while Justice Jamal Mandokhail inquired about fixing NAB. Khan criticized the elite’s plundering, accused parliament of self-preservation, and reiterated grievances about his imprisonment and treatment compared to Nawaz Sharif.

Justice Mandokhail advised amending the law through parliament, while Justice Jamal Mandokhail urged Khan to avoid discussing pending cases. Khan requested a comparison of jail facilities provided to him versus Nawaz Sharif, which the Chief Justice agreed to verify through a surprise visit by a judicial officer.

The hearing concluded with mutual thanks between the Chief Justice and Imran Khan.

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