ISLAMABAD, May 13: The Islamabad High Court has surprised the PDM-led government by granting extraordinary relief to Imran Khan who himself and other party leaders were not expecting it.
Consequently, experts believe that with the help of superior judiciary, Imran has emerged victorious in this round of clash with powerful circles.
One political analyst says that rescuing Imran in difficult times by the superior courts is a big setback for the security establishment as well as the civil government, which is already unpopular among the masses on account of inflation.
The first relief was given by the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial declaring that execution of the arrest warrant issued by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman dated May 1, 2023 in the Al-Qadir Trust case within the premises of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against Imran was invalid and unlawful.
The manner in which the bench dealt with Imran during the hearing had profound implications on every court of the country, including the IHC.
Likewise, extra courtesy shown to Imran by CJP Bandial has also invited the government functionaries’ criticism.
One federal minister believes that issuance of orders in favour of Imran by the IHC is the outcome of the SC proceedings.
The IHC held that Imran would not be arrested in criminal cases registered against him on or after May 9 or MPO etc.
However, there are several other reasons of granting extraordinary relief to Imran, which cannot be overlooked.
Firstly, the IHC is known to grant relief in matters related to civil liberties for the last four years.
One section of lawyers say that arrest of Imran was also mishandled by the government authorities.
One lawyer refers former CJP Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry case wherein the police had manhandled him on the road.
On account of that incident, the judiciary united against that establishment led by General (retd) Pervez Musharraf.
Similarly, the law enforcement agencies arrested Imran within the IHC premises without the permission of the registrar.
Friday’s IHC order in favour of Imran may be the outcome of the manner in which he was arrested from within the court premises.
The IHC judges’ remarks also suggest that they were visibly annoyed the way sanctity and dignity of the court was violated by Rangers.
A lawyer says that the IHC judges through judicial orders in favour of Imran on Friday sent a message to those who violated the sanctity and dignity of the court.
Even IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq had stayed the trial court proceedings against Imran in the Toshakhana case.
Earlier, the two judges’ judicial order was uploaded on the IHC website in the Tyrian White case.
Despite the IHC orders, the PDM leadership has decided to protest against the SC led by CJP Bandial on Monday.
Political analysts say that the purpose of this protest is to put pressure on the SC which may pass an order regarding the violation of April 4 order to hold elections on May 14.
Senior PTI leaders are also uneasy over Imran’s anti-establishment stance, especially his statement against the incumbent army chief.
It is learnt that Imran has limited the consultation process with senior leadership on such issues.
Even senior party leaders were surprised when Imran had asked the negotiation team to leave the dialogue process, if the government did not dissolve the National Assembly on May 14.
Even the government side was willing to dissolve the assembly in the first week of July.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister Jawad Malik says that it’s a triumph for mob violence and arson and a loss for law and order.
“The state and establishment properties and personnel were brazenly targeted. Imran Khan’s swift release reinforces the PDM stance that the judiciary is partisan”, he adds.
Senior lawyers say that the game is not yet over.
“If SC delays the Punjab Assembly elections for any reason, the PDM government as well as the establishment will not have been defeated.”