A district and sessions court in Islamabad on Tuesday issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case after he repeatedly failed to appear before Judge Zafar Iqbal for the framing of charges.
The warrant was issued mere hours after Khan secured bail in two separate cases—one related to prohibited funding and the other terrorism—as part of a series of appearances in various courts. In total, the PTI chief was required to appear in person for four different hearings; the prohibited funding case, a terrorism case, an attempted murder case, and the Toshakhana reference. Both the prohibited funding and terrorism cases were being heard at the Judicial Complex, while the remaining two were being heard at the sessions court in F-8 Kacheri.
After months of stalling, the former prime minister was to be indicated in the Toshakhana case today, but his counsel once again sought an exemption, claiming his client had to appear in several other courts and was facing a security threat that made it difficult for him to attend all the proceedings. Seeking an adjournment of five days, he was censured by the judge, who noted that Khan could appear in “11 other courts” but not the kacheri. Directing the lawyer to produce his client for framing of charges, he said there was no more scope for delays.
When Khan failed to reach the court, the judge issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for his appearance and adjourned the hearing until March 7.
Earlier, an anti-terrorism court and a banking court granted interim bail to the former prime minister after he appeared before them at the judicial complex. Anti-Terror Judge Raja Jawad granted bail to the PTI chief until March 9 against submission of surety bonds worth Rs. 100,000, while Judge Rakhshanda Shaheen confirmed his bail in the prohibited funding case.
The terror case against Khan pertains to his party workers’ vandalism of state property during demonstrations against his disqualification in the Toshakhana reference.
The case related to the PTI receiving allegedly prohibited funding was filed by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in October 2022 after the ECP, in a unanimous verdict, had announced that the PTI had received prohibited funding prior to 2014.
Scenes of chaos were observed at the Judicial Complex when Khan reached the building, with a large number of PTI workers entering the building after breaking its entry gate. Security arrangements, taken in light of the PTI’s claims of persistent security threats to Khan’s life, were disrupted with his own supporters removing barriers erected to facilitate his travel.
Later, Khan also reached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to secure bail in an attempted murder case. This was granted to him till March 9 against surety bonds of Rs. 100,000. The case was filed by Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha, who had argued that a Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa police officer had opened fire on a protest outside the ECP office, allegedly at the behest of Khan.