time Monday Apr 11 2022

Islamabad court rejects plea seeking investigation into ‘threat letter’

Islamabad High Court. — IHC website
Islamabad High Court. — IHC website

  • IHC CJ Athar Minallah issues reserved verdict against plea.
  • Slaps Rs100,000 fine on petitioner Maulvi Iqbal Haider.
  • Haider seeks high treason case against Imran Khan and his ministers besides probe into diplomatic cable.

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday rejected the plea seeking to place the names of the former prime minister Imran Khan and ex-ministers on the Exit Control List (ECL) and an investigation into an alleged threat letter.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah issued a five-page long reserved verdict against the plea, while slapping a Rs100,000 fine on the petitioner. The court had reserved its verdict on Haider's plea earlier in the day.

The petition was filed by Maulvi Iqbal Haider after Khan left PM House following his ouster from the office of the premier as a result of a successful no-confidence vote against him Saturday night.

At the outset of today’s hearing, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah asked the petitioner why he was politicising the issue?

"It is the state's responsibility [...] why did you reach out to the court?" Justice Minallah noted.

Responding to the judge, Haider said that he had filed a treason case against former president Pervez Musharraf and it was his plea on which the action had been taken against Musharraf.

At this, CJ Minallah remarked:

"Imran Khan was an elected prime minister, don't compare him with Musharraf."

The court inquired what Haider's request was.

To this, Haider said that the controversy affected Pakistan's relationship with the US.

He argued that the opposition parties had filed a no-confidence motion against then PM Imran Khan, on which Khan first remained silent and then showed a "threat letter" and said that a conspiracy had been hatched against his government.

Later, the prime minister revealed that the threatening message was from US Assistant Secretary of State for the South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu.

The US authorities rejected the letter, hence, the diplomatic cable should be investigated, pleaded the petitioner.

"Interior secretary is bound to get the matter probed. The federal government was responsible for investigating the cable and take the matter to international courts," he added.

Haider contended that a high treason case should be built against Khan, former federal ministers, including Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Fawad Chaudhry, former deputy speaker Qasim Suri and former Pakistan envoy to US Asad Majeed, and sent to the trial court.

Haider had maintained in the plea that the US blatantly denied sending the alleged cable, therefore, it must be investigated.