LAHORE: PTI President Parvez Elahi said on Friday he stood by founding chairman Imran Khan as he never abandoned anyone in difficult times.

Mr Elahi was talking to reporters in a special court for anti-corruption where he was produced for the hearing of a case of alleged illegal appointments made in the Punjab Assembly during his recent stint as the chief minister.

Without naming PML-N leaders Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif, the former chief minister said both ladlas (blue-eyed) were afraid of the PTI and its founding chairman.

He said the empty political gatherings of the PML-N were proof that the public had rejected them. He said they (the Sharif brothers) lacked courage to face the public.

Parvez Elahi stated that he was ready for political challenges and would actively participate in the elections for both the national and provincial assemblies.

He said disallowing the PTI to participate in the elections as a party was not democracy. He claimed that despite all odds the PTI-supported candidates would win the Feb 8 elections.

Earlier, the prosecution handed over the copies of the challan (investigation report) to the suspects, including Mr Elahi and his former principal secretary, Muhammad Khan Bhatti.

Judge Arshad Hassan Bhutta summoned an absent suspect for the next hearing.

Mr Elahi complained to the judge against the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) officials for not bringing him to the court the other day. He said the officials took him back to Adiala jail in the middle of the journey.

The judge observed that presence of the suspects in the court was necessary on two occasions – distribution of copies of the challan and the indictment.

The judge observed that other hearings could be conducted from jail on a video link if Mr Elahi’s lawyers were agreed.

The judge adjourned further hearing till Jan 25.

The ACE officials could not take Mr Elahi back to Adiala jail, Rawalpindi, due to closure of the motorway for fog and returned to Lahore from midway.

Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2024

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