PTI chief secures 14-day bail in lawyer's murder case

PTI chief to appeal local courts for bail in multiple cases

Arfa Feroz Zake
Awais Yousafzai
Personnel of Rangers stands guard to maintain security, on the arrival of former prime minister to Islamabad High Court for a hearing. — Online/File
Personnel of Rangers stands guard to maintain security, on the arrival of former prime minister to Islamabad High Court for a hearing. — Online/File

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Thursday granted 14-day protective bail to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in a senior Supreme Court lawyer's murder case.

Advocate Shar was gunned down by unidentified people on three motorcycles while he was on his way to the Balochistan High Court (BHC) on Tuesday.

“According to eyewitnesses, he was travelling in his relative’s vehicle,” the official said. Shar was immediately rushed to the Quetta Civil Hospital but succumbed to his injuries on the way. He sustained 16 bullets.

The former premier along with others was booked in the case of Abdul Razzaq Shar, who was shot dead by armed motorcyclists on Airport Road in Quetta, Balochistan, on Wednesday.

A first information report (FIR) had been registered on the complaint of the slain lawyer’s son advocate Siraj Ahmed in Quetta, under the charges of murder, Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) and other provisions.

The ousted prime minister was due to appeal to several other courts for bail on a growing list of charges against him in a bid to avert his arrest.

He first appeared before the high court where a two-member bench, headed by the IHC chief justice conducted a hearing on the plea filed in the lawyer's murder case.

The court also directed the PTI chief to appear before the court after two weeks.

Khan 'directly responsible' for lawyer's murder: Tarar

A day earlier, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) Ataullah Tarar held the PTI chairman “directly responsible” for the murder, claiming that the targeted killing was related to a treason case against Imran, which Shar was pleading.

A division bench of the BHC, comprising Chief Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan and Justice Muhammad Amir Nawaz Rana, had heard Shar’s petition on May 29 seeking the former prime minister’s trial under Article 6 of the Constitution.

Advocate Shar had pleaded that the deposed premier had violated the Constitution by advising the president to dissolve the National Assembly, and thus, should be tried under Article 6.

The BHC bench, after the initial hearing, had issued notices to Additional Attorney General Rauf Atta and Deputy Attorney General Muhammad Naeem Kasi and directed them to submit a reply on the next hearing scheduled for June 7.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Tuesday, the SAPM alleged that Khan “got the lawyer killed to protect himself from the treason case”.

Terming his killing murder of law, Tarar lamented that Advocate Shar was gunned down in broad daylight and promised to conduct a thorough investigation into the murder. “Imran will be nominated in this murder case,” the PML-N leader had said.

“The PTI has become a militant and terrorist outfit… Imran won’t be able to save himself in this case “You will have to come and attend every hearing and also surrender if ordered by the court,” he asserted.