LAHORE: PTI chief Imran Khan, his wife, Bushra Bibi, and three others nominated in the May 9 riots case reportedly skipped an appearance before a joint investigation team (JIT) here on Wednesday.

Headed by Lahore DIG (investigation) Kamran Adil, the JIT had issued summons for 7pm on Wednesday. He had directed the SPs of Civil Lines and Model Town divisions to ensure the presence of the accused, including Imran Khan, Bushra Bibi, Hammad Azhar, Hassan Niazi and Murad Saeed, at the DIG investigation office.

Earlier, a team of the Lahore police had also visited the PTI chief’s residence and intimated the security staff there about the summons issued by the JIT.

An official source said the JIT members waited at the DIG office but no one from the accused came there to appear before the team.

LHC grants interim protective bail to PTI chief in Quetta lawyer’s murder case

He said the JIT head had informed the higher authorities that the accused didn’t join the investigation.

Protective bail

The Lahore High Court on Wednesday granted interim protective bail to PTI Chairman Imran Khan in the murder case of a lawyer in Quetta, while an anti-terrorism court also allowed him pre-arrest bail in two cases relating to the May 9 riots.

The PTI chief appeared before a two-judge LHC bench along with Lahore High Court Bar Association’s president Ishtiaq Ahmad Khan. The counsel argued that the Islamabad High Court had granted protective bail to the former prime minister in the lawyer’s killing case till June 21 to enable him to approach the courts concerned in Quetta.

He said the petitioner had filed an application with the Balochistan government for the provision of adequate security but it was not provided and it became impossible for his client to appear before the court of Quetta.

Advocate Khan asked the bench to grant protective bail to the PTI chairman so he could approach the court of first instance for the pre-arrest bail.

The bench headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi granted the protective bail to Imran Khan till July 3 and directed him to furnish surety bonds of Rs100,000.

The son of senior lawyer Abdul Razzaq Shar, who was killed in Quetta, had lodged a case against the PTI chief and alleged that his father was killed at the latter’s behest.

The slain lawyer had filed a petition in the Balochistan High Court seeking treason proceedings agai­nst the ex-premier under Article 6 in wake of the unconstitutional ruling by then speaker Qasim Suri on a vote of no confidence against the PTI government in April 2022.

Pre-arrest bail

An ATC on Wednesday grated interim pre-arrest bail to the PTI chairman in two cases relating to the May 9 attacks lodged by the Model Town and Naseerabad police.

Judge Ijaz Ahmad Buttar allowed the bail till July 7 subject to furnishing of surety bonds and directed the former prime minister to join the investigation of the cases before the police.

The other day, ATC administrative judge Abher Gul Khan had issued non-bailable arrest warrants of Imran Khan and six other PTI leaders on the request of the investigation in-charge.

Model Town police registered the FIR against the PTI leaders on charges of attacking and torching the PML-N office, while Naseerabad police accused them of torching a container at Kalma Chowk during the May 9 riots.

Other suspects include former federal ministers Hammad Azhar and Murad Saeed, Jamshed Iqbal Cheema and his wife Musarrat Jamshed Cheema, former provincial minister Mian Aslam Iqbal and Imran Khan’s nephew Hassaan Khan Niazi.

Lawyer’s murder

The JIT formed to probe the murder of senior lawyer Abdul Razzaq Shar, who was petitioner in the high treason case against the PTI chairman, has summoned the former PM on June 26 for questioning.

The JIT has sent a notice which will be delivered to him through the Lahore police.

Saleem Shahid in Quetta also contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, June 22nd, 2023

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