Pakistan Election Commission Issues Non-Bailable Arrest Warrant Against Ex-PM Imran Khan

Pakistan Election Commission Issues Non-Bailable Arrest Warrant Against Ex-PM Imran Khan
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Pakistan Election Commission Issues Non-Bailable Arrest Warrant Against Ex-PM Imran Khan
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks with Reuters during an interview, in Lahore, Pakistan March 17, 2023. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro/File Photo

In a significant development, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against former Prime Minister Imran Khan. The warrant, which also includes former minister Fawad Chaudhry, is a result of a contempt case initiated by the ECP last year. Imran Khan and Fawad Chaudhry failed to appear before the commission on Tuesday, despite repeated warnings

The ECP had initiated contempt proceedings against Imran Khan, leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, and two former party leaders for their use of “intemperate” language against the electoral watchdog and the Chief Election Commissioner. Notably, Asad Umar was exempted from the warrant as his counsel informed the ECP about prior commitments and a medical appointment.

Imran Khan has been grappling with a growing number of legal challenges since his removal from power in April of last year. This recent non-bailable arrest warrant adds to the mounting legal woes faced by the former Prime Minister.

Furthermore, reports emerged on Tuesday suggesting that Imran Khan could potentially face trial in a military court for his alleged involvement in the May 9 attacks, which resulted in the loss of at least 10 lives. The day of the attacks saw widespread violent protests across the country after Imran Khan’s arrest from the premises of the Islamabad High Court.

Following the arrest, the government launched a massive crackdown on PTI leaders and workers, leading to the arrest of thousands of individuals accused of attacking civil and military installations. In response, supporters of Imran Khan vandalized numerous military installations, including the Lahore Corps Commander’s House, the Mianwali airbase, and the ISI building in Faisalabad. Shockingly, they even stormed the Army headquarters in Rawalpindi, marking an unprecedented event.

The PTI party claims that 40 of their workers lost their lives in the subsequent firing by security personnel.

The latest non-bailable arrest warrant against Imran Khan serves as another hurdle in his legal battles, while the possibility of facing trial in a military court adds a new dimension to the challenges he currently faces. The situation remains fluid, and further developments are awaited as the legal proceedings unfold.

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