An Islamabad court has insisted on Imran Khan’s in-person appearance in the ‘un-Islamic’ marriage case, even as officials of the Attock Jail where the former prime minister of Pakistan is currently lodged, expressed their inability to present him before the court due to security risks.
A court in Islamabad summoned the jailed 70-year-old Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party chief on Monday in a case pertaining to his alleged ‘un-Islamic’ marriage with Bushra Bibi, The Express Tribune newspaper reported. A Pakistani cleric who solemnised Khan’s Nikkah with Bushra Bibi had said that the ceremony was not conducted in accordance with Islamic Sharia law.
Wedding occurred during the iddat period of Bushra Bibi
Mufti Saeed, the cleric who solemnised the couple’s Islamic marriage in 2018, said in April that the wedding occurred during the iddat period of Bushra Bibi. The iddat period (three months) is a waiting period that a Muslim woman must observe on account of the death of her husband or the dissolution of the marriage.
Bushra Bibi is the third spouse of Khan.
Bushra, who is in her late 40s, hails from a family of landowners in Punjab. Her first marriage, which lasted about 30 years, was to Khawar Farid Maneka, who is from a politically influential Punjab family.
Attock Jail says presenting Khan to courtroom would be life-threatening
Citing security risks, the Attock Jail superintendent wrote a letter to Civil Judge Qudratullah, who is supposed to hear the ‘un-Islamic’ marriage case, stating that the ex-prime minister was a high-profile under-trial prisoner in the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Counter Terrorism Wing’s (CTW) cipher case related to the alleged disclosure of state secrets filed under the Official Secrets Act.
The letter stated that Special Court Judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain was conducting the trial for the cipher case on the same date inside jail premises and asked for Khan to be exempted from appearance in the alleged ‘un-Islamic’ marriage case, the report said.
However, police sources said that Khan was supposed to be produced before Judge Qudratullah and they would provide a list of policemen deployed for the former prime minister’s security at the court to the jail authorities, the report said.
Plan to produce Khan to court will be finalised
The report said that the Attock Jail authorities would also be provided with the number plates of the Islamabad police vehicles taking Khan to the court and added that the interior ministry had been informed about the proposed measures.
Police would immediately take the proposed steps after receiving the final instructions for Khan’s appearance before the court in Islamabad, the sources said.
The former cricketer-turned-politician has been kept in jail since August 5 after his conviction in the Toshakhana corruption case. His sentence was suspended by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on August 29, but he continues to remain in prison in the cipher case.
The cipher case pertains to a diplomatic document reportedly missing from Khan’s possession. The PTI party chief alleges that it contained a threat from the United States to oust him from power.
(With inputs from agency)