PTI Chief Imran Khan Appears Before Lahore High Court

On Monday afternoon, Imran Khan, the chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), departed for the Lahore High Court (LHC) to meet a 5 pm deadline set by the court in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) protest case.

The LHC had given Imran a “last chance” to appear before the court to verify his signatures on three documents. Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh presided over the hearing of the PTI chief’s protective bail in the case. However, Imran’s counsel Khawaja Tariq Raheem complained about inadequate security arrangements at the court.

The IGP told them to contact the LHC Registrar’s Office, who dismissed their application wherein they had sought permission for Imran’s vehicle to enter the LHC premises.

The LHC judge summoned Imran by 5 pm after he failed to appear by 2 pm as per the court’s order. The security at the court has been beefed up ahead of the former prime minister’s appearance, with more than 200 police officials deployed outside the courtroom and barricades installed.

Justice Sheikh remarked that Imran has been summoned for verification of signatures and that it is not his job to grant permission to Imran’s vehicle to enter the LHC premises.

Justice Sheikh had earlier summoned Imran Khan to appear before the Lahore High Court on February 20, after PTI’s counsel had guaranteed his appearance before the court on February 16.

Imran Khan is expected to appear shortly

According to a tweet by PTI leader Hammad Azhar, Imran Khan will depart from his residence in Zaman Park for the LHC in half an hour and is expected to arrive at the court at 4 pm.

Meanwhile, senior party leader Fawad Chaudhry confirmed Imran’s appearance at 4 pm, but also stated that “attendance is merely for the sake of judicial respect, contrary to the opinions of both medical and security officials. Otherwise, it is neither a case nor a justification for being summoned.”

“The PTI chief has been given a final opportunity by Justice Sheikh to appear in court by 5pm,” declared during today’s hearing.

Imran was absent from the court earlier due to concerns from PTI leaders about inadequate security measures. Despite police assurances, they were dissatisfied with the security arrangements and considered it risky for the former PM to attend court.

As a result, the Mall Road outside the LHC was congested, and traffic was at a standstill, as the police failed to clear the road as agreed with the former ruling party’s members. The PTI leaders requested that the IG Police be instructed to clear the road.

During a meeting, the IG assured that the Mall Road would be cleared, and there would be maximum security outside the premises. However, he advised the party leaders to contact the LHC registrar regarding security inside the premises.

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