PESHAWAR: Peshawar High Court on Tuesday sought details from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) about the number of cases and inquiries pending against the imprisoned former speaker of National Assembly Asad Qaiser.

A bench consisting of Justice Ishtiaq Ibrahim and Justice Sahibzada Asadullah fixed December 7 for next hearing of a petition filed by Asad Qaiser, a central leader of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), seeking directives of the court for the government and its law enforcement agencies to provide details about the criminal cases registered and inquiries started against him.

The bench directed that the reply should be submitted by the government before next date of hearing.

The respondents in the petition are KP government through its chief secretary, inspector general of police, NAB regional director general, Federal Investigation Agency director general and anti-corruption establishment director.

Fixes Dec 7 for next hearing of petition filed by former NA speaker

Advocate Syed Sikander Hayat Shah appeared for the petitioner and stated that his client was a law abiding citizen and he had the distinction to serve as speaker of both National and KP assemblies.

He stated that after the government of PTI was toppled last year in the centre, law enforcement agencies had started a campaign against PTI leaders and had since been implicating them in concocted cases.

He pointed out that earlier the petitioner was charged in a case registered in Swabi in relation to May 9 protests there and in another case registered by anti-corruption establishment (ACE) accusing him of making some illegal appointments.

However, he stated that in both those cases the petitioner was granted pre-arrest bails by the relevant courts. He said that the petitioner was then charged in another case registered by ACE on November 2, 2023, accusing him of committing certain irregularities in purchase of equipment for Gajju Khan Medical College, Swabi.

The counsel contended the petitioner’s bail petition in that case was also pending before a special anti-corruption court. He said that it had now become a normal practice for government agencies to register fresh concocted cases against leaders of PTI once they were granted bail by courts in the existing cases.

He requested the court to order the government to provide details of the cases pending against the petitioner, so that he could approach the relevant court for getting relief.

Meanwhile, the special judge (anti-corruption), Babar Ali Khan, has directed lawyers for five former lawmakers of PTI to submit written arguments in their pre-arrest bail pleas in a case registered by ACE in Charsadda.

The court fixed December 12 for next hearing of pre-arrest bail pleas of the five petitioners including two former MNAs Fazal Mohammad Khan and Anwar Taj and three former MPAs including Fazal Shakoor Khan, who is also an ex-provincial minister, Khalid Khan and Arif Ahmadzai.

ACE alleged that the petitioners were involved in carrying out illegal appointments in education department.

Published in Dawn, November 22nd, 2023

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