LAHORE: Incarcerated PTI activist and fashion designer Khadija Shah on Wednesday expressed her wish to contest the next general election.

“I want to contest the next election, but the government has challenged my bail,” Ms Shah told the judge of an anti-terrorism court attending the hearing of Askari Tower attack case on a video-link from Kot Lakhpat jail.

The police did not present Ms Shah and over 40 other suspects before the court, making them attend the hearing from jail on video link. They include PTI-Punjab President Dr Yasmin Rashid, and former governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema.

However, the police presented Senator Ijaz Chaudhry before the court.

Ms Shah told the court that she had been denied access to her lawyer in jail.

“I need to see my lawyer to sign a power of attorney,” she added.

Judge Abher Gul Khan assured Ms Shah of a meeting with her lawyer in jail.

Dr Yasmin also asked the judge to order the police to bring her to the court for the next hearing.

The judge adjourned the hearing till Dec 20 due to absence of several other suspects on bail.

Gulberg police registered a case against the leaders and workers of the PTI on charges of attacking and burning Askari Tower at Liberty roundabout during the May 9 riots.

Khadija Shah, a granddaughter of former army chief Asif Nawaz Janjua, is currently under preventive detention following an order issued by the deputy commissioner under the MPO.

An anti-terrorism court had on Nov 15 granted her bail in the fourth and last case of May 9 protests against her.

She was arrested in cases of attacks on Lahore corps commander house, Askari Tower and torching police vehicles near Rahat bakery in cantonment.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) also arrested her in a cybercrime case of posting social media messages to incite people against the army during the May 9 violence. However, a sessions court had allowed her bail in the case.

Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2023

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