PESHAWAR: Peshawar High Court on Tuesday granted protective bail till Feb 19 to two leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and MNAs-elect Mohammad Atif Khan and Shahram Khan Tarakai in cases registered against them in different police stations.

A two-member bench consisting of Justice Ishtiaq Ibrahim and Justice Wiqar Ahmad allowed petitions of the two leaders, who have been absconding till now, and directed them to appear before the relevant courts by Feb 19.

Advocate Shah Faisal Uthmankhel appeared for the petitioners and stated that they were leaders of PTI and had been elected as MNAs from Mardan and Swabi in the general elections.

He stated that during the last couple of months multiple cases had been registered against leaders of the PTI including the two petitioners on political grounds especially after the May 9 protests.

Also extends interim bail to Sher Afzal Marwat

He argued that as far as they knew the petitioner Shahram Khan had been booked in a case registered in Swabi, whereas Atif Khan was charged in four or five cases registered in Mardan district.

He argued that the petitioners wanted to surrender before the relevant courts to get relief from there, but they apprehended that they would be arrested on their way to courts.

He requested the bench to grant transit bail to the petitioners so that they could approach the relevant courts.

SHER AFZAL CASE: A bench consisting of Chief Justice Mohammad Ibrahim Khan and Justice Sahibzada Asadullah extended interim pre-arrest bail earlier granted to PTI central leader and MNA-elect Sher Afzal Khan Marwat till Mar 12 in 11 criminal cases against him.

These cases were mostly registered in different districts where he had addressed PTI workers’ conventions prior to the general elections.

The bench was hearing 11 petitions of Mr Marwat seeking quashing of FIRs registered against him in different police stations on account of participating and addressing workers conventions, which the government claimed were held in violation of the concerned SOPs (standard operating procedures) framed by the provincial home department.

Mr Marwat contended that the said cases were registered during the targeting and victimization of PTI leaders by the government.

He contended that the FIRs were registered after workers conventions were held in Mardan, Dir, Swabi, Kohat and other districts in connection with the general elections.

He argued that holding and addressing a peaceful convention was his legal and constitutional right and was not a crime.

He stated that the high court had already issued directives to the Election Commission of Pakistan to provide level playing field to all the political parties, but despite that they had been victimized.

Sher Afzal Media Talk: Mr Marwat said that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police had persecuted his party leaders and workers during last couple of months and they would be made answerable for all those atrocities once they formed government in the province.

He said that cases would be registered against the KP inspector general of police and other officers against the killings of his party workers in protest demonstrations.

He told media persons on the premises of the high court that former chief ministers Pervez Khattak and Mahmood Khan and another leader Jahangir Tareen had betrayed the party due to which they faced humiliation during the general elections.

He said that the mandate of the PTI was stolen in Punjab and KP and results were manipulated through issuance of forged Form-47.

Mr Marwat said that they were thankful to the people of KP for electing them with overwhelming majority despite massive rigging during polls.

He said that their peaceful protests against changing the election results would continue.

Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2024

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