IHC seeks security rules for ex-PMs while hearing Imran’s plea

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday guided the inside service to submit rules for the arrangement of safety to previous heads of the state for a situation relating to PTI Executive Imran Khan’s solicitation for security.

The former premier, who escaped an attempted assassination on November 3, 2022, of which he is still recovering, has been requesting security, particularly in light of a statement from Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah that the PTI considered to be a death threat.

Imran had moved the Lahore High Court on March 7 for “foolproof security arrangements” and permission to attend court via video link before Sanaullah made her statement. The same day, an Islamabad sessions court judge noticed that the court was in charge of security and asked Imran’s attorney to tell him about their concerns.

Today, the hearing was presided over by IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq. Barrister Salman Safdar served as Imran’s attorney because Advocate Faisal Chaudhry had commitments at the Supreme Court.

The interior ministry’s representative and Additional Attorney General (AAG) Munawar Iqbal Duggal were also present at the hearing.

The hearing Justice Farooq stated, “Tell the court what and how much security is to be provided to a former prime minister” at the beginning of the hearing.

In this instance, Barrister Safdar informed the court that Imran could not personally appear, and the IHC chief justice responded with the clarification that “an appearance is not due in this case.”

The petitioner is a former prime minister, Justice Farooq added. What is the security policy? AAG Duggal replied that the relevant rule was Section 17 (security) of the Prime Minister’s Salary, Allowances, and Privileges Act of 1975.

He went on to say that “appropriate security” would be provided, and the notice will be published in the Special Gazette in accordance with the law.

The IHC chief justice then asked the AAG if Khan had been given any security, and the official said that “one bullet-proof car” had been given to Khan. The justice made a remark, “even] I did not come in a bulletproof car right now.”

The AAG further expressed that after the eighteenth Amendment, the question of safety was a common make a difference to which Equity Farooq answered that it was “done after April 9 [last year]” and asked AAG Duggal to re-read the warning gave beforehand.

“Take these directions from your workplace; In his address to the AAG, the IHC chief justice stated, “You are asking the official behind you.” The AAG responded that the selection of security is made by an assessment committee.

The interior ministry’s representative then appeared in court when Justice Farooq asked if a “well-educated” person from the ministry was present during the hearing.

“Lifetime security is given, but notification for this must be issued, which has not been issued yet,” the official from the interior ministry told the court. In Islamabad, the federal government oversees it, whereas in the other provinces, they review it independently.

“The security is inspected by the DIG (deputy inspector general). The Punjab IG (inspector general) will investigate the matter. “Imran Khan received unbreakable security while he was in Islamabad,” the official continued.

Justice Farooq inquired about the current situation, to which the representative from the interior ministry responded that security was being provided to the PTI chief.

“If it’s an order of generalized security, that must be put into action. What is the petitioner’s order? The chief justice of the IHC asked. I have repeatedly inquired, “Who will provide him with security when a former prime minister, whoever he is, comes to Islamabad?”

AAG Duggal responded, “as a response to a writ petition,” that provincial security was being provided.

Imran’s attorney stated, “The Wazirabad incident occurred; that is clearly visible to everyone. Salman Taseer’s episode had likewise occurred as of now.”

The AAG was then instructed by Justice Farooq to provide specifics regarding the “law or the custom — whatever it is — in the court.”

He went on to say, “Prisoners in jail also have rights.” All people have rights. We are judges today, but we would not be judges tomorrow.

Why is the West currently ahead of us? because of their regulations.

The IHC chief justice questioned AAG Duggal at one point during the hearing about the whereabouts of the orders for foolproof security given to Imran when he appeared in court hearings “twice or thrice” recently.

The AAG responded that the letter was presented to the court, and the judge inquired further about the letter because the AAG said it was a “general letter” and specifically mentioned the petitioner.

Here, Imran’s insight let the court know that a security plan was not there for the hearings, and refered to a past perception made the by IHC that the candidate be given security as indicated by their fulfillment.

Justice Farooq made the observation that “it is upsetting that the state does not do such minor things” regarding this. Why is one required to appear in court?

The IHC chief justice stated to the AAG, “Regarding the threat alert, you will have to assess security occasionally.” One ought to be aware of their legal rights. A previous head of the state ought to get security as per their status. Set positive examples.

AAG Duggal was then instructed by Justice Farooq to present the security regulations so that “an appropriate order” could be issued.

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