ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in the contempt of court case against him for “repeatedly failing to appear for the hearing and for failing to send a written apology to the ECP for his absence in court”.
The ECP has ordered that the PTI chairman be arrested and brought to the next hearing of the case filed by PTI dissident and one of the party’s founding members, Akbar S. Babar, on October 26.
According to PTI Spokesperson Naeemul Haq, the party is set to challenge the warrants in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
In the hearing headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) retired Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza, the ECP suspended proceedings as soon as they began and the members reconvened in the chambers. During the meeting, the ECP decided to issue non-bailable warrants for Khan.
Earlier on September 14, the ECP had issued bailable arrest warrants for Imran Khan following his failure to show up for the contempt of court proceeding, which were later suspended by the IHC on the PTI’s petition.
“A new warrant is issued in the same case where a bailable warrant was already suspended. We will also look into whether this is contempt of the IHC’s full bench or not, and then [the party] we will challenge it,” said PTI member and lawyer Babar Awan.
In August, the ECP had issued a second show-cause notice to Imran Khan after he failed to reply to the earlier notice regarding the contempt of court proceedings against him.INP