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Imran Khan Requests Live Telecast and Personal Attendance for NAB Hearing

Incarcerated former Prime Minister Imran Khan has requested a personal appearance and live streaming of the Supreme Court proceedings on his petition challenging the amendments to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) introduced by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government.

A week earlier, he appeared before the Supreme Court via video link as a petitioner in the matter but did not get a chance to speak. Khan submitted his request through Adiala Jail authorities, his counsel informed the media on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters after the hearing of a £190 million corruption reference, the PTI founding chairman said, “I have a match on May 30 in the Supreme Court.”

He noted that he was convicted three times before the February 8 elections, yet the public still voted for PTI despite negative propaganda. “They thought PTI would avoid the elections; however, the returning officers of Islamabad were on the run,” he claimed, adding that his party won the elections in Islamabad by a significant margin.

Khan argued that election tribunals should have delivered their verdicts by now, given that it has been over three months since the general election.

He criticized the Punjab government’s introduction of a defamation law, calling it an attempt to silence the media and restrict press freedom. He alleged that PTI is being intimidated and prevented from holding public gatherings, while the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has not falsely implicated anyone in legal cases.

Khan claimed to know who was behind the attack on Raoof Hassan, indicating that the system is controlled through force and intimidation. He called on his party to prepare for street protests in response to the attack on the PTI leader.

Khan explained that PTI is showing restraint due to the fragile state of the economy, which cannot withstand large-scale protests, but hinted that the party will react during the upcoming budget session.

He criticized Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for asking the nation to make sacrifices, asserting that a leader can only make such requests if they have made personal sacrifices for the country. He accused the Sharif family and Asif Zardari of stashing their wealth abroad and demanded they repatriate their money to Pakistan.

Khan praised the judges for upholding the rule of law, noting that the judiciary is finally breaking free from fear and demonstrating its independence and commitment to justice.

Khan mentioned that he used funds from selling Toshakhana gifts to construct the Banigala road. He welcomed the release of PTI Central President Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and praised his resilience, adding that Elahi’s release would have been sooner if he had severed ties with PTI.

Cipher Case

The Islamabad High Court could not conclude the hearing on appeals by Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi against their conviction in the cipher case, due to the absence of Special Prosecutor Hamid Ali Shah, whose mother was ill.

An IHC division bench comprising Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Minagul Hassan Aurangzeb resumed hearing the appeals.

Meanwhile, another Special Prosecutor, Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Naqvi, submitted an application to place additional evidence on the court’s record. He argued that since the appeals hearing is a continuation of the trial, the prosecution has the legal right to present additional evidence, including documents received after the trial concluded, as permitted by law.

Justice Aurangzeb remarked that the application seemed to be an attempt to delay the hearing by another two to three months. Justice Farooq directed the prosecution to conclude their arguments by Thursday (today) by all means.

The court also questioned the state counsel representing Khan and Qureshi during cross-examination, after the trial court judge barred the defense counsel from using ‘delaying tactics.’ Lead defense counsel Barrister Salman Safdar stated that the defense had no objection to the conduct of the state counsel.

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