ISLAMABAD: While the Special Court established under the Official Secrets Act recorded the statement of three prosecution witnesses in the cipher case on Tuesday, the Islamabad High Court heard arguments on the legitimacy of the appointment of the judge and jail trial of PTI Chairman Imran Khan and its leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

Separately, a PTI lawyer quoted the incarcerated former premier as saying that PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif cannot play without his own umpires and is again looking towards them.

Special Court Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain resumed the proceedings in the cipher case in Adiala Jail. The court recorded the statement of three witnesses and summoned another three witnesses on Nov 10.

Meanwhile, an IHC division bench comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz resumed the hearing of an intra-court appeal filed by Mr Khan challenging the appointment of Judge Zulqarnain as presiding officer of the Special Court as well as trial proceedings in Adiala Jail.

Salman Akram Raja, the counsel for Mr Khan, complained that the trial is being conducted in a small room within the jail premises where not more than five persons can stand.

Justice Aurangzeb said the court was aware of this and asked the counsel to explain the objections to the single-judge bench decision.

Mr Raja argued that the bench did not consider key facts, adding that the jail trial was not authorised in accordance with law. The presiding judge made up his mind for the jail trial without deliberating on the facts, he said.

The counsel said the law ministry had issued a no-objection certificate for the jail trial at the request of the judge for a single day hearing, but both Mr Khan and Mr Qureshi were being tried in the jail without any reference, wondering how the jail trial order was routed through the chief commissioner.

‘Own umpires’

Talking to media persons outside Adiala Jail, Imran Khan’s lawyer Barrister Umair Niazi said the PTI chief had criticised PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and also rejected the trial of civilians in military courts.

The PTI lawyer quoted Mr Khan as saying that Nawaz Sharif cannot play without his own umpires and is again looking towards them. All political parties, except the PML-N, are calling for a level playing field, he added.

Mr Khan expressed concern over the fresh wave of terrorism in the country and said this was because of a “weak” Afghan policy as Mr Bhutto-Zardari, being the foreign minister, did not visit Kabul to address the issue of terrorism.

Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

Debt trap
Updated 30 May, 2024

Debt trap

The task before the government is to boost its tax-to-GDP ratio to the global average by taxing the economy’s untaxed and undertaxed sectors.
Foregone times
30 May, 2024

Foregone times

THE past, as they say, is a foreign country. It seems that the PML-N’s leadership has chosen to live there. Nawaz...
Margalla fires
30 May, 2024

Margalla fires

THE Margalla Hills — the sprawling 12,605-hectare national park — were once again engulfed in flames, with 15...
First steps
Updated 29 May, 2024

First steps

One hopes that this small change will pave the way for bigger things.
Rafah inferno
29 May, 2024

Rafah inferno

THE level of barbarity witnessed in Sunday’s Israeli air strike targeting a refugee camp in Rafah is shocking even...
On a whim
29 May, 2024

On a whim

THE sudden declaration of May 28 as a public holiday to observe Youm-i-Takbeer — the anniversary of Pakistan’s...