Will expected relief for Imran Khan in Toshakhana case prompt more arrests against him?
Khan has been accused of being the mastermind behind the May 9 riots, triggered after his arrest by Pakistan Rangers from the premises of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on May 9
Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to get relief in the Toshakhana case by the apex court and may be allowed to be released from jail as well. However, the government and the establishment seem to have "planned out" registration of new cases and arrests against Khan, to ensure that he is kept behind bars.
Khan is in Attock jail after being sentenced to three-year prison in the said case.
After Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) chief justice Umar Ata Bandial is expected to announce a relief and bail for Imran Khan and direct authorities to release Imran Khan from Attock Jail, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Lahore has granted permission for arrest and investigation of Khan in relation to the vandalism incident on May 9 at Lahore Corps Commander's House aka Jinnah House.
Khan has been accused of being the mastermind behind the May 9 riots, triggered after his arrest by Pakistan Rangers from the premises of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on May 9. Supporters of PTI marched on the streets in anger and vandalised the Corps Commander Residence in Lahore along with many other state buildings, monuments and installations across the country including the Pakistan Army’s General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi.
Political experts say that the government and the military establishment has decided to not let go of Khan and keep him in custody in different cases.
"Imran Khan faces a severe opposition by the government and the military establishment, which has shut down all doors of any backdoor negotiation with him. Imran Khan has already been declared as arrested in the Cipher case while being in Attock jail, where he is spending prison time in Toshakhana case," said Javed Siddique, senior political analyst.
"We have seen how other PTI leaders have been treated in the past. The plan for Imran Khan seems to be the same. Even if he gets relief in Toshakhana case, he will be arrested from outside the jail in Cipher case and moved in another jail if not in Attock jail itself. And later if he gets relief in cipher case, he will be arrested in May 9 related cases. Troubles are not over for Imran Khan," he added.
Sources confirmed that the Punjab province government has decided to send an investigation team to Attock Jail to investigate Khan.
"The team would submit its report to the court after investigating Imran Khan in Attock jail," said the source.
Khan has at least 200 cases registered against him across Pakistan. Ranging from corruption, incitement to violence and sedition, Khan faces accusation on charges of serious nature, some of which fall under the newly approved Army Act and Official Secret Act with a maximum punishment of death sentence.
Published: 24 Aug 2023, 3:43 PM