Wednesday, March 01, 2023
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Imran Khan will definitely be arrested if law permits: Khawaja Asif

Khawaja Asif believes that Nawaz Sharif's absence in Pakistan is damaging PML-N

Web Desk
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif. APP/File
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif. APP/File

  • Minister says government willing to hold elections.
  • Election requirement to be met, if court orders so, he says.
  • Says Nawaz Sharif will come back to Pakistan before elections.

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said that the government would definitely arrest Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan if the law allows them to do so.

The minister's warning comes as a sessions court in Islamabad issued on February 28 a non-bailable arrest warrant for Imran Khan to produce him by March 7 in the Toshakhana case. However, Khan got bail in three different cases on the same day. 

"The PTI chief will definitely be arrested, if so permitted by the law and no one should have doubts about this," the defence minister said while speaking during Geo News programme Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath on Tuesday.

The PML-N-led government is willing to hold elections, he asserted. However, the government will have to fulfil all the requirements of the electoral process, including security arrangements, if the Supreme Court agrees to give the go-ahead to holding elections, the minister said. 

The country's top court is scheduled to deliver a verdict at 11:00am today in connection with the suo motu notice on elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Supreme Court yesterday reserved its verdict in the suo motu notice taken over the delay in announcement of the date for elections in KP and Punjab.

The PML-N leader said that though the party had a political advantage of its vice-president Maryam Nawaz's presence in Pakistan but the absence of the party's supremo, Nawaz Sharif was causing damage. However, he said, Nawaz will return to Pakistan in the run-up to the elections.

The price hike will be a major factor in the upcoming elections, he said, adding however, today's economic situation is better than that existed three to four months back.

Imran Khan brought hundreds of people to the court, some of them were armed, who broke the gate of the Judicial Complex, according to the minister. He said that at the time of Nawaz Sharif's hearings, most of his aides were denied entry into the courtroom.

In a veiled jibe at the judiciary, Asif said that Imran Khan was on a spree of lawlessness with a free licence from all quarters. Under such circumstances, bails of PTI leaders, including Khan himself, are being granted, he pointed out.

Giving his own example, the PML-N leader said that three benches were dissolved before he finally got bail. He then scoffed at Khan, saying, "It has been six months but his [Khan's] leg is still plastered with no medical examination of his wounds."