ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court met once more on Thursday but deferred making a decision on a request to extend Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s release on bail in seven cases involving terrorism.
Since his bail could be revoked for his repeated absences from court sessions in the past, there were strict security measures in place when the former prime minister appeared before the two-judge panel chaired by IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq.
Security was increased around the IHC in anticipation of Khan’s arrival as he made his way from Lahore to Islamabad this morning to request provisional bail. The court was surrounded by a sizable police presence, and barbed wire and containers were set up to keep the neighborhood in order.
Access was limited to unrelated people at the IHC.
The local government put strict controls in place to ensure Khan’s security, and only those with a special pass—lawyers and journalists—were permitted entry into courtroom number 1. Khan may be accompanied by a maximum of 15 attorneys, and an additional 10 attorneys from the offices of the attorney general and advocate general may be present during the proceedings.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha was the target of an attempted murder on Wednesday, and Chief Justice Aamer Farooq stated as much while reviewing Khan’s bail requests in two separate cases involving threats against military personnel.
No precedent for exemption from attendance at bail petition hearings, he pointed out.
Salman Safdar, Khan’s lawyer, claimed that his client missed the hearing the day before because of pain and swelling in his leg. Nevertheless, the attorney assured the court that the PTI leader would attend today’s session even if it meant riding in an ambulance after the bench showed no mercy.