A day subsequent to the Pakistan Army cautioning Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan against maligning active officers, the ex-prime minister alluded to the institution and Pakistan as his own, elucidating there was no necessity for him to prevaricate.
“This is my army and my Pakistan. I don’t need to lie,” Khan declared in a video statement on Tuesday.
The sportsman-turned-politician’s proclamation was disseminated on PTI’s social media channels before he embarked for the federal capital to attend hearings of his bail applications at the Islamabad High Court concerning two cases against him.
The PTI chairman’s remarks materialized a day after the army reprimanded him for “irresponsible and baseless allegations” against an incumbent senior military officer of the armed forces.
“[The] chairman PTI has leveled highly irresponsible and baseless allegations against a serving senior military officer without any evidence,” Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director-General Major General Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry expressed in a statement, as the politician persisted in his diatribe against the establishment.
The military spokesperson advised the politician to abstain from making groundless allegations and cautioned that if such a trend persists, the army reserves the right to pursue legal action.
Post an assassination attempt in November the previous year, the former prime minister—who was deposed through a no-confidence motion in April 2022—accused a senior military officer, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah of orchestrating the attack, all of whom refuted the allegations. Khan has yet to provide any substantiating evidence to the authorities.
Regarding the prospect of incarceration, the PTI chief stated: “If someone has a warrant, they should directly present it to me. Bring the warrant, my lawyer will be there. I’m ready to go to the jail myself.”
The former premier, while demanding a warrant, entreated against staging any theatrics.
“There is no case against me. I’m mentally prepared to be arrested. If I have to go to jail, I’m ready,” Khan asserted.
He mentioned that the nation has known him for the past 50 years. “I am currently the head of the country’s largest party,” Khan claimed.
Security intensified in Islamabad
Khan is slated to appear for a hearing on his bail applications at the IHC at 2:30 pm.
Prior to Khan’s arrival at the court, Section 144 has been enforced in the federal capital, and Islamabad Police have instituted stringent security measures, closing the roads encircling the IHC to general traffic.
Under Section 144’s restrictions, any type of assembly is deemed unlawful.
“The G-10 turn and Aun Muhammad Rizvi road will remain closed,” the Islamabad Police stated.
The registrar’s office has also issued a circular for security arrangements.
According to the registrar’s circular, entry of lawyers and journalists into courtroom number one will be facilitated through special passes, while judicial staff and court employees will be exempt from special passes.
Only 15 lawyers will be permitted to accompany Khan in the courtroom, as stipulated in the circular. Meanwhile, 10 lawyers will be allowed from the Attorney General for Pakistan and Advocate General for Islamabad’s office.
Additionally, 30 members of the Islamabad High Court Journalists Association (IHCJA) will be granted access to the courtroom.
The administration has been requested not to impede entry of those bearing special passes and department cards into the court’s premises. Individuals with the special card will be permitted entry into courtroom number one, as stated in the circular.
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