'Black chapter': Shehbaz Sharif slams suspension of Imran Khan's sentence

'If everyone knows what decision will be before it comes, it should be a moment of concern for justice system," says PML-N leader

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Former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif during an interview. — AFP/File
Former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif during an interview. — AFP/File 

  • IHC influenced by SC's leniency toward Khan, says former PM.
  • CJP himself became monitoring judge to save "favourite", he writes.
  • Law powerless before those who "sold watches", Shehbaz laments.


Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday slammed the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial for "favouring" Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) suspended the sentence awarded to him in the Toshakhana case.

The IHC verdict today comes as a major legal victory for Khan who was sentenced to three years in jail and fined Rs100,000 in the Toshakhana case by Additional Districts and Sessions Judge Dilawar Humayun — after finding him guilty of corrupt practices related to the state gift repository — in a move that barred him from contesting elections due later this year.

In his message on X, formerly Twitter, the former premier also wrote that the IHC had been influenced by the apex court's leniency toward the PTI chief.

"The 'favourite's' sentence has been suspended, not terminated.

"Chief Justice's message of 'Good to see you and 'Wishing you good luck' reached Islamabad High Court. If everyone knows what the decision will be before the decision comes, it should be a moment of concern for the justice system," the former premier wrote.

He further stated that when a "clear message" was received from the higher judiciary, the subordinate court would follow suit.

"A monitoring judge was appointed to ensure Nawaz Sharif's punishment, [and now] the chief justice himself [has become] a monitoring judge to save the 'favourite'," he wrote, slamming the courts for giving Khan relief.

Taking issue with the overturning of the sentence, Shehbaz's tweet further read: "This role of the justice system will be written as the dark chapter of history. Scales tilted to one side and a justice system that undermines justice are not acceptable.

He wrote that the law was powerless before those who "sold the watches".

"If thieves and state terrorists are facilitated, where will the common man get justice in the country?"

The former premier also lamented that Khan and his party were given undue leniency by the courts.

"Be it May 9, be it an attack on the judicial complex, be it raining petrol bombs on the police, everything is forgiven," he concluded. 

'Murder of justice'

Zahid Khan, a senior leader of Awami National Party (ANP) which was part of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government, termed the IHC verdict as "murder of justice".

Slamming the IHC verdict, suspending the sentence of Imran Khan’s verdict, Zahid said, "Why humanity does not wake up in the heart in other cases?"

He added that Khan had stolen and there was concrete proof of the "theft", yet he was being given special treatment.

He further slammed the courts for making "wrong decisions".

"The nation is crying on the streets today because of the wrong decisions of the courts. If there is no writ of the state, how can people live in it?" he asked.

The ANP leader termed the IHC decision as "an unprecedented wrong decision" and said if the courts had not made decisions by "looking at social media," there may have been justice in the country.

"Criticizing the [court's] decision is our right. We don't abuse [the court]," he said.

'Bushra Bibi seeking NRO for Khan'

Reacting to the development in the Toshkhana case, PDM spokesperson Hafiz Hamdullah speculated if the suspension of Khan’s conviction was a result of PTI chief's wife Bushra Bibi’s meetings with a dignitary from a "friendly Muslim country".

“Why is Bushra Bibi seeking an NRO [a reference to relief in cases] from a friendly Islamic country? Why did she meet an important personality of an Islamic country in a five-star hotel in Islamabad?” he questioned.

Hamdullah said Bushra Bibi told the “personality” that Khan is ready to leave the country.

“Today, I will tell the whole nation that PTI chairman is now begging to go out [of the country],” the PDM spokesperson said.

'IHC CJ wins PTI workers hearts'

Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party spokesperson Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan reacted to the IHC verdict by saying that the IHC chief justice has "won the hearts" of the PTI chairman and party workers.

"We hope that now Justice Aamer Farooq will not become a victim of bad language from the PTI chairman and his workers."

He further said that Khan and his party workers will now remain indebted to the judge.

"[We hope] that the PTI chairman and workers will be in the favour of Justice Aamir Farooq. After [his verdict today], he will be declared a good and honest judge for the PTI," he remarked.