The trial against Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi has recommenced in the Saifur Rehman case, with special court Judge Abul Hasanat Zulqarnain scheduling further hearings until December 4th after both defendants were present in court.
The charges against them are framed under Sections 5 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act of 1923. It has been revealed that a joint trial will take place, and the defendants will be provided with the opportunity to seek relief during future hearings.
During the court proceedings, representatives from the public and media were present. According to the court order, complete compliance with Section 352 of the Code of Criminal Procedure was observed. Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi were granted permission to speak in the presence of the media, with ample time allocated.
Imran Khan’s request regarding Article 10-A of the Constitution was rejected due to the absence of his counsel, Sikander Zulqarnain Saleem.
During the hearing, Imran Khan reiterated his previous stance, asserting that he was sent a letter by the Deputy Foreign Minister of the United States, Donald Lue, attempting to remove him from the position of Prime Minister. This, he claimed, was part of a significant conspiracy against Pakistan.
Co-defendant Shah Mahmood Qureshi maintained that President Arif Alvi had not signed the amendment to the Secret Act in 2023. He requested the court to inquire whether the President had indeed signed the amendment or not.
Imran Khan, permitted by the court, elaborated on his position, alleging that the saffron envoy sent by the United States aimed not only to remove him but also had malicious intentions against Pakistan. He emphasized that when such an envoy was sent to remove him, it indicated a conspiracy, questioning how he could be removed by any envoy.
He highlighted that Shah Mahmood Qureshi, as the Foreign Minister, had informed him of the conspiracy, leading him to initiate an inquiry as the Prime Minister. However, he lamented the disparate treatment in the courts, where he claimed they were not given an opportunity to speak, unlike the treatment meted out to Nawaz Sharif.
In this ongoing legal saga, the courtroom drama unfolds, promising further revelations and confrontations in the coming hearings.