ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) issued a ruling allowing PTI leaders and legal representatives to visit and hold election meetings with former Prime Minister Imran Khan, currently detained at Adiala Jail, in preparation for the February 8 elections.
Justice Miangul Hasan Aurangzeb granted this order following a petition filed by Imran seeking authorization for strategic meetings with various party members and ensuring privacy during consultations with his legal team.
Political Activities Amidst Election Schedule Announcement ;
As the election schedule was announced, major political parties have commenced their political activities. The election momentum is in full swing, with the deadline for filing nomination papers having concluded recently. The returning officers are set to scrutinize the nomination papers from December 25 to December 30.
PTI Chairman Gohar Khan affirmed that Imran would make decisions about ticket allocation, emphasizing priority for PTI detainees. Meanwhile, during the court proceedings, objections regarding the admissibility of the plea were raised by the Attorney-General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan, while PTI counsel Shoaib Shaheen highlighted the party’s need to discuss the allocation of 700 tickets.
Justice Aurangzeb expressed dissatisfaction with arguments presented, criticizing the interim government for limiting discussions on elections. The court eventually permitted PTI lawyers, including Chairman Gohar Khan, to hold consultations with Imran in jail, with the meeting to be supervised by the jail superintendent.
Emphasis on Electoral Neutrality ;
Highlighting the fundamental right of election consultations, Justice Aurangzeb stressed the importance of the caretaker government’s neutrality during elections. The judge raised concerns about the perceived impartiality of the interim setup due to objections over meetings between PTI leadership and Imran, concluding the petition.
PTI Lawyer’s Critique and Public Support ;
PTI lawyer Shaheen criticized the caretakers, referring to them as “chair takers” acting under specific directives. He asserted the public’s support for Imran Khan, suggesting concerns among the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and established political parties about potential defeat.