Imran Khan, the leader of the PTI, and other party officials were given arrest warrants by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday in connection with a contempt case.
The top electoral body’s four-member court rejected the exemption requests made by Mr Khan, Fawad Chaudhry, Asad Umar, and others. It instructed the ex-prime minister and top PTI officials to post surety bonds worth Rs. 50,000 each to obtain bail. The ECP had previously reserved the case’s verdict.
In exchange for surety bonds totalling Rs. 50,000, the commission issued arrest warrants for the lawmakers. January 17 has been set as the new date for the hearing.
Umar tweeted in response to the development that the ECP had engaged in such behaviour rather than carrying out its obligations. He declared, “They are in contempt of court by failing to organise elections in Islamabad.”
The PTI president and other party leaders were accused of being in contempt of court after making divisive comments against the electoral body. Last week, the Supreme Court (SC) permitted the election monitor to continue its investigation.
The three-judge panel, led by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justices Athar Minallah and Ayesha A. Malik, announced the conclusion but stopped short of ordering the ECP to make a final decision.
In a statement, Chaudhry threatened to hold the electoral watchdog in contempt of court.
”The hearing for the case was scheduled for January 17 but was moved ahead to today in defiance of the rules. This is yet another unfair decision made by ECP members”, he continued.
Babar Awan, a lawyer for the PTI, asserted that a campaign against Imran was being undertaken via the ECP.
“They’re only attempting to eliminate him in some way. But let me tell you, Imran Khan won’t respond to this minus-one formula,” he said to reporters in front of an Islamabad court.