Pakistan | Supreme Court of Pakistan bans arrest of former PM Imran Khan, case related to murder of lawyer

File Photo Islamabad: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has stayed the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan till August 9 after his appearance on Monday in a case related to the murder of a senior lawyer in Quetta. A three-member bench headed by Justice Yahya Afridi issued the directions while hearing a petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party chief Khan seeking quashing of the case, Dawn newspaper reported. Senior advocate Abdul Razzaq Shar was killed by unidentified assailants in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, on June 6 while he was on his way to court for an important hearing in the Balochistan High Court. A day later, the police registered a case and named Khan in the FIR on a complaint by the lawyer’s son. Shar had filed a petition against Khan in the Balochistan High Court, requesting proceedings against the former prime minister under Article 6 relating to sedition. The federal government and Khan’s party blamed each other over the incident, alleging a role in the assassination. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s aide Attaullah Tarar had alleged that Shar was killed at Khan’s behest to escape accountability in the treason case, Dawn news reported. Rauf Hasan, a spokesman for Khan’s party, accused Prime Minister and Home Minister Rana Sanaullah of having a role in the assassination. The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) had issued an arrest warrant against Khan in the case, which was later upheld by the Balochistan High Court. Khan (70) had moved the Supreme Court against his being made an accused in the murder case, the Express Tribune newspaper reported. The apex court, during the last hearing of the matter on July 20, had ordered Khan to appear before the bench in person before quashing the FIR and arrest warrant. Khan appeared in the Supreme Court along with his lawyers during Monday’s hearing. At the outset of the hearing, the Advocate General for Balochistan urged the apex court to direct the petitioner to appear before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) constituted to probe the murder. The court said that it will not issue any such order now. The bench restrained the police from arresting Khan in the case and adjourned the proceedings till August 9. (agency)

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