ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Wednesday filed four petitions with the Islamabad High Court (IHC) seeking a level playing field, permission to bring out public rallies and political gatherings, and the facilitation of ongoing meetings between party leaders and jailed former premier Imran Khan in the run-up to the Feb 8 elections.

“The PTI is being denied a level playing field in different parts of the country to hold conventions, public meetings, rallies and other political activities, which are essentially a requirement for the fulfilment of the political rights guaranteed under different articles of the Constitution,” one of the petitions said.

It said that authorities in Islamabad had denied permission to the PTI to hold workers’ conventions, public meetings or even rallies.

In a separate petition, Imran Khan has sought the court’s intervention to permit meetings with party members Asad Qaiser, Junaid Akbar Khan, senators Aurangzeb Khan and Dost Mohammad Khan, and Ishtiaq Meherban, among others, to strategise ahead of the elections.

The petition requests the court to instruct the superintendent of Adiala Jail to ensure privacy for Mr Khan during his consultations with his legal team.

Cipher case

Meanwhile, the Special Court (Official Secrets Act) granted Mr Khan permission for biometric verification to open two bank accounts.

Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain directed the superintendent of Adiala Jail to allow bank officials to meet Mr Khan.

Mr Khan’s counsel informed the court that the former premier needs to activate dormant bank accounts and open new ones to contest elections from Mianwali and Lahore.

Published in Dawn, December 28th, 2023

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