The Pakistan police arrested Hassan Niazi, the nephew of the former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan, apart from summoning Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi for questioning in the Toshakhana case.
Hundreds of supporters of Imran Khan and workers of his political party Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) have also been arrested for the violence in front of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), which saw more than 51 police officers injured.
The violence occurred between Khan’s supporters and the police when Khan reached the IHC to attend a court hearing in the Toshakhana case.
In the Toshakhana case, Khan is linked to accusations of illegally selling presents he received during his tenure as Pakistan’s prime minister from 2018-2022.
Khan was disqualified by the Election Commission of Pakistan, in October last year, for not sharing details of the sales.
A non-bailable warrant against him was released by IHC on 28 February. Khan has reportedly skipped several hearings in the case.
The violence forced Judge Zafar Iqbal to defer the hearing till 30 March.
The Dawn quoted the judge saying, “The situation as it is, the hearing and appearance cannot proceed, that is why all those who have gathered here should disperse after marking attendance. There is no need for shelling or pelting, the hearing cannot be held today.”
The IHC judge also allowed Khan to travel back to Lahore to attend another hearing in the Lahore High Court in eight terrorism cases.
Khan, on the other hand, alleged in a tweet that there was a plan to attack him outside the judicial complex of IHC, and said that he did not come out of the car because there were unknown persons waiting to kill him.
Khan said, “Had I not moved from the complex immediately, that might have resulted in bloodshed as the police, rangers and unidentified people were making all-out efforts to provoke my party workers to create a battleground and use it as a cover to kill me.”
The Lahore High Court, however, granted relief to Khan by suspending a non-bailable warrant against him and granting bail till 27 March in three cases in Lahore and till 24 March in five cases in Islamabad, a report by Indian Express says.
Meanwhile, the police have registered a terrorism case against Khan and dozens of PTI leaders for indulging in violence, attacking security personnel, and creating unrest outside the Islamabad High Court.
Subsequently, Hassan Niazi, Khan's nephew, was taken into custody in relation to this case.
Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi was also summoned by the National Accounting Bureau (NAB) on 9 March, for questioning in the Toshakhana case.
Another Indian Express report quotes Pakistan Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah initiating to declare PTI a “proscribed” outfit.
Various experts say that, while the political parties are engaged in a political blame game, Pakistan’s economic crisis is worsening.
The discussion with the International Monetary Fund on a bailout package is stalled due to tough conditions imposed by it on the Pakistan government.
This month, the inflation index for everyday items exceeded 40 per cent, and the country's foreign reserves declined to $4 billion, sufficient for only one month's imports.
Editorial Associate at Swarajya. Writes on Indian Military and Defence.
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