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Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) on Saturday permitted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan to mark his attendance outside the Islamabad Judicial Complex where the PTI chief is to be indicted in the Toshakhana case.
“The situation as it is, the hearing and appearance cannot proceed,” ADSJ judge Zafar Iqbal said referring to the hostilities between the Islamabad Police and PTI workers outside the Judicial Complex, reports Dawn.
“All those who have gathered here should disperse after marking attendance. There is no need for shelling or pelting [of stones], the hearing cannot be held today,” the judge said.
He added that once the PTI chief’s signatures were taken, the next date for the hearing could then be decided.
The hearing was adjourned thereafter till Imran’s signature was taken.
Meanwhile, PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi told Ary News that “all legal process [for the signature] has been completed” and said that Imran was now departing from the Judicial Complex.
Qureshi also strongly criticised the Punjab and Islamabad police forces for their actions against the PTI.
Dawn.com’s correspondent at the scene confirmed that people inside the courtroom were facing difficulties due to the effects of the teargas and the windows were pelted by stones as well.
Amid the situation, lawyer Intezar Panjotha informed the court that Imran’s chief of staff Shibli Faraz was “manhandled” by Nausherwan’s superintendent of police. Faraz was subsequently presented in court and released after the judge ordered the police to do so.
As Imran and his motorcade earlier reached outside the Islamabad Judicial Complex, he alleged that he was not being allowed to enter the court’s premises.
In an audio message released to the media, Imran said: “I am waiting outside the [judicial complex’s] door for 15 minutes and am fully trying to enter but they’ve done teargas [shelling] and erected checkpoints and it seems they don’t want that I reach here.”
Despite that, he reiterated that he was outside the complex and was attempting to enter it.
According to DawnNewsTV, a large number of party workers, who were accompanying the former prime minister, are attempting to escort him onto court premises, but due to security arrangements, they were not being allowed to.
The PTI leader was scheduled to appear before the court of ADSJ Iqbal to attend proceedings on a complaint filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for allegedly concealing details of gifts in his assets declarations.
Imran, who left his Lahore home a little after 8am and had warned in a video message that he was expecting an attempt to arrest him, had yet to reach the court, though the Islamabad Police tweeted that Imran’s convoy was right in front of the Judicial Complex.
The police claimed that protesters burnt another of its vehicle.
In a later tweet, the police posted grainy images of the purported shelling.
Dawn.com‘s correspondent on the scene confirmed that amid the standoff, the courtroom’s windows were also pelted with stones and the premises were also affected by the effects of the teargas.
In turn, the PTI also accused the police of shelling Imran’s vehicle. PTI Senator Ejaz Chaudhary tweeted that Imran’s convoy was outside the courts in sector G11, and that “intense shelling on IK car right now!”