PHC grants bail in 18 cases to PTI nominee for Punjab CM slot

Published February 22, 2024
Mian Aslam Iqbal speaks to media in Peshawar on Feb 21. — DawnNewsTV
Mian Aslam Iqbal speaks to media in Peshawar on Feb 21. — DawnNewsTV

PESHAWAR: Peshawar High Court on Wednesday granted protective bail to MPA-elect and nominee of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf for Punjab chief minister post Mian Mohammad Aslam Iqbal in 18 cases till March 4 and also restrained law enforcement agencies from arresting him in any other case.

Like several other leaders of PTI, who came out from hiding to get protective/transit bails from the high court, Mian Aslam also approached court in multiple cases.

One of his petitions, seeking directives for the government to provide details about cases pending against him in Punjab, was heard by a two-member bench of PHC consisting of Justice Ishtiaq Ibrahim and Justice Syed M Attique Shah.

The bench directed him to approach Lahore High Court within a fortnight as the pray made by him was in the jurisdiction of that high court.

A single-member bench of Justice Wiqar Ahmad heard 18 petitions of Mian Aslam, seeking protective bails in cases wherein he was charged after May 9 last year’s protests in Punjab and Islamabad.

Bench directs Mian Aslam to approach LHC within fortnight

The bench granted him protective bail till March 4 with the direction to appear before the relevant court by that date. The bench directed him to furnish two surety bonds of Rs80,000 in these cases.

The bench also ordered that in case he failed to turn up before the relevant court by March 4, the order should be deemed to have been recalled.

Advocates Shah Faisal Uthmankhel, Mohammad Inam Yousafzai and Umair Azam appeared for the petitioner whereas the additional advocate general, Nisar Mohammad, appeared for the government.

The petitioner’s lawyers stated that he was a leader of PTI and former provincial minister. They said that the petitioner had been falsely implicated in multiple cases after May 9 protests and had been charged in 18 FIRs registered in Lahore, Faisalabad and Islamabad.

They stated that he had gone into hiding due to the persecution started by the government during which his house was also demolished. They added that he had to approach PHC as he apprehended his arrest in case he approached the relevant courts in Punjab and Islamabad.

The AAG objected to the petitions and stated that the petitioner was an absconder. He said that most of those cases were registered after May 9 and since then the petitioner had been absconding. He questioned as to why he appeared before PHC instead of approaching the relevant court.

The petitioner’s lawyers stated that as he had taken shelter there, therefore, he had to approach PHC. They said that recently the high court had also given transit/protective bail to PTI secretary general Omar Ayub.

Similarly, when the two-member bench took up for hearing his plea, his lawyers stated that he was a competent person and was also nominee of PTI for the post of Punjab chief minister.

Justice Attique Shah in lighter vein observed that although he was a competent person yet he had served as minister in the cabinet of a chief minister like Usman Buzdar. The lawyers requested the bench to issue directives to law enforcement agencies to provide details of cases against him.

However, the bench observed that it could only issue such order to the extent of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and not in Punjab province.

When the bench inquired was there any case registered against the petitioner in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the lawyers replied in negative and requested that he might be provided with sufficient time to approach the relevant high court.

Moreover, the bench also granted protective bail to another PTI leader Senator Shibli Faraz till February 26 in cases registered against him in the province. The bench also directed the government to provide details about cases registered against Shibli Faraz in the province.

The petitioner’s counsel Inam Yousafzai stated that cases were registered against his client on political grounds. He added that the petitioner wanted to approach the relevant courts but apprehended that he would be arrested.

Meanwhile, Mian Aslam told journalists that prior to May 9 protests, he was granted bail by an anti-terrorism court on May 7 after which he left Lahore. He said that law enforcement agencies should show even a single video footage wherein he could be spotted in any of the protests.

He said that in past several figures were declared ‘electable’ but PTI changed the narrative as ordinary persons defeated the electable.

Mian Aslam bitterly criticised leaders of Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim Lleague-Nawaz, saying during polls they levelled allegations of corruption against each other, but again joined hands.

Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Noshki killings
14 Apr, 2024

Noshki killings

THERE have been numerous incidents in Pakistan’s history where innocent people have been singled out and murdered...
Upholding the law
14 Apr, 2024

Upholding the law

THE recent discord in Bahawalnagar offers a chance to reflect on the sanctity of the law and its enforcement across...
Tragic travels
14 Apr, 2024

Tragic travels

FOR those embarking on road and boat journeys, the probability of fatal accidents has seen a steady rise. The recent...
Security lapses
Updated 13 Apr, 2024

Security lapses

Ensuring the safety of foreign citizens is paramount, not just for diplomatic relations but for our economic future.
An eventful season
13 Apr, 2024

An eventful season

THE Senate chairman and deputy chairman were elected unopposed, and 41 new senators were sworn in on Tuesday,...
Living rough
13 Apr, 2024

Living rough

WE either don’t see them or don’t want to see them — not even when they are actively trying to get our...