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Imran Khan and wife barred from issuing statements against state institutions by Pakistan court

During the hearing of a petition seeking a fair trial, Judge Basir Javed Rana of the Accountability Court in Islamabad also said the media should limit its reporting to court proceedings and not report statements of the accused.
Last Updated : 25 April 2024, 14:11 IST
Last Updated : 25 April 2024, 14:11 IST

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Islamabad: A court in Pakistan on Thursday barred jailed former prime minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi from issuing provocative statements against state institutions, including the army, and officials.

During the hearing of a petition seeking a fair trial, Judge Basir Javed Rana of the Accountability Court in Islamabad also said the media should limit its reporting to court proceedings and not report statements of the accused.

According to the order, Khan, the founder of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party made provocative political statements against senior officials of state institutions, including the army, the judiciary and the army chief, newspaper The Express Tribune reported.

The order said that such statements disrupt judicial decorum and also obstruct judicial functions such as the dispensation of justice and further stated that during the jail trial of the PTI founder, the media will limit its reporting to court proceedings and not report statements of the accused.

In its order, the court also instructed the prosecution, the accused and their defence counsels not to make political or inflammatory statements which may disrupt the decorum of the court, the newspaper said.

Media was also ordered to refrain from publishing political and inflammatory narratives targeting state institutions and officials and was asked to adhere to PEMRA guidelines prohibiting discussing ongoing cases.

The former prime minister asserted that premeditated rigging marred the by-polls in Punjab, accusing the Punjab Police of indulging in rigging.

“Democracy hinges on the supremacy of law and the conduct of free and fair elections, yet what we witnessed was jungle law. The interference of the police in the Punjab by-elections is deeply concerning,” Khan said during a media interaction at Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail.

Khan highlighted that the recent by-polls were also conducted in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, where the PTI-backed Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) is ruling, affirming that no instances of rigging transpired in the province.

“There exists no semblance of democracy in the nation presently. The rigging was a pre-emptive move, driven by fear of the events that unfolded on February 8. The postponement of the [general] elections from October to February was a deliberate tactic to suppress the PTI. Even our petition in the Supreme Court remained unheard, as it awaited the demise of the PTI,” he elaborated.

Khan lamented that myriad tactics were deployed ahead of the general elections to besmirch the reputation of the PTI, resulting in the conversion of a majority vote into a minority.

The former prime minister also deplored the lack of constitutional governance within the country, asserting that only the influential wield power, The Express Tribune added.

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Published 25 April 2024, 14:11 IST

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