Imran Khan Requests Live Telecast and Personal Attendance at NAB Hearing

Incarcerated former prime minister Imran Khan has requested a personal appearance and live streaming of the Supreme Court proceedings on his petition challenging the amendments to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) introduced by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government.

A week ago, he appeared before the top court via video link as a petitioner but did not have an opportunity to speak.

Mr. Khan submitted an application to the court through Adiala jail authorities, his counsel informed the media on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters after the hearing of the GBP190 million corruption reference, the PTI founding chairman said: “I have a match on May 30 in the Supreme Court.”

He mentioned that despite being convicted thrice before the February 8 elections, people still voted for the PTI despite negative propaganda. “They thought PTI would avoid the elections; however, the returning officers of Islamabad were on the run,” he claimed, adding that his party won the elections in Islamabad by a large margin.

The former premier argued that election tribunals should have delivered their verdicts by now, considering it has been over three months since the general election.

He also criticized the Punjab government’s new defamation law, describing it as an attempt to silence the media and restrict press freedom.

He alleged that the PTI is being intimidated and prevented from holding public gatherings, while the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has not falsely implicated anyone in legal cases.

Mr. Khan stated that he knows who was behind the attack on Raoof Hassan, indicating that the system is being controlled through force and intimidation. He called on his party to prepare for street protests in response to the attack on the PTI leader.

He explained that the PTI is exercising restraint due to the fragile state of the economy, which cannot withstand large-scale protests. However, he hinted that the party would take action during the upcoming budget session.

He criticized Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for asking the nation for sacrifices, asserting that a leader can only make such a request if they have made personal sacrifices for the country. He accused the Sharif family and Asif Zardari of stashing their wealth in foreign countries and demanded that they bring their money back to Pakistan.

He praised the judges for upholding the rule of law and noted that the judiciary is finally breaking free from the shackles of fear, demonstrating its independence and commitment to justice.

Mr. Khan said he used the funds from selling Toshakhana gifts to construct the Banigala road.

He welcomed the release of PTI Central President Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and commended his resilience. However, he noted that Mr. Elahi’s release would have been much sooner if he had chosen to sever ties with the PTI.

Cipher Case

The Islamabad High Court could not conclude the hearing on Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s appeals against their conviction in the cipher case due to the absence of Special Prosecutor Hamid Ali Shah, who was unable to appear because of his mother’s illness.

An IHC division bench comprising Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Minagul Hassan Aurangzeb resumed hearing the appeals.

Meanwhile, another Special Prosecutor, Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Naqvi, submitted an application to the court, seeking to place additional evidence on the court’s record.

He argued that since the appeals hearing is a continuation of the trial, the prosecution has the legal right to present additional evidence, including documents received after the trial concluded, as permitted by law.

Justice Aurangzeb remarked that the application seemed intended to delay the hearing by another two to three months.

Justice Farooq directed the prosecution to conclude their arguments by Thursday (today) by all means.

The court also scrutinized the state counsel representing Mr. Khan and Mr. Qureshi during cross-examination, after the trial court judge barred the defense counsel from using ‘delaying tactics’.

Lead defense counsel Barrister Salman Safdar told the court that the defense side had no objection to the state counsel’s work.

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