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Imran predicts govt’s fall, his release in four to five months

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ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Imran Khan does not see the incumbent government lasting more than four to five months, and believes that its fall will pave the way for his re­­lease from Adiala Jail.

Talking to reporters after the hearing of a £190 million corruption reference at Adi­a­la Jail, Mr Khan said this was the reason why the PPP did not join the cabinet. He claimed that a decision in his case had already been made and termed the proceedings a mere formality.

Mr Khan said the case against him was baseless, claiming that the exchequer did not suffer any loss as the amount transferred from the UK was held by the government, and there was no element of criminality. He said Malik Riaz transferred the amount for the purchase of a house in the UK, adding that the seller was Hassan Nawaz Sharif who had bought the property for Rs9bn but sold it for Rs18bn. Mr Khan said Hassan Nawaz should be asked to provide the money trail.

The PTI founder said that the current state of affairs had exposed the entire system, adding that everything was being manipulated; the ECP, the caretaker government and the establishment are all in on it together.

Mr Khan lamented that Pakistan’s ties with Iran and Afghanistan had been soured and expressed the apprehension that it would lead to an increase in terrorism.

Imran acquitted in two more FIRs

Meanwhile, the judicial magistrate of Barakahu, Suhaib Bilal Ranjha, acqui­tted Mr Khan, Shah Mehmood Qureshi and others in a case related to inciting the protesters for violence on May 26, 2022 during a march organised against then PDM government.

Judge Ranjha observed that prosecution did not pr­­o­­duce any tangible eviden­­ce that could connect the suspects with the crime. He acquitted the susp­e­cts, ob­­serving that there was no chance of conviction.

Cipher case

Separately, an IHC division bench comprising Chief Justice Aamer Faro­­oq and Justice Mian­gul Hassan Aurangzeb sought the record of attendance of a counsel who had cross-examined prosecution witnesses in the cipher case on behalf of Mr Khan and Mr Qureshi.

The bench passed the order while hearing appeals of the PTI leaders against their conviction in the cipher case as defence counsel Barrister Salman Safdar pointed out that a counsel, Abdul Rehman, had appeared in a case against Bushra Bibi.

Barrister Safdar said the trial court judge had appoi­nted the state counsel for cross-examination of prosecution witnesses and sou­ght a list of lawyers, which was provided the same day.

Advocate General Ayyaz Shaukat said he had recommended the names of the state counsel and explai­n­­ed the mechanism of making such appointments.

Barrister Safdar poin­ted out that one of the prosecutors was representing the state in a case against Bushra Bibi and said how could he examine the prosecution witnesses.

The court summoned the CVs of both the prosecutors and directed the superintendent of Adiala Jail to provide the attendance record of advocate Rehman by March 25.