PTI leaders challenge FIA summons in X post controversy

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PTI leaders challenge FIA summons in X post controversy

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) summons issued to party leaders as the body probes Imran Khan’s X post on the 1971 war.

In the petition, PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Khan, Information Secretary Raoof Hasan, and Secretary-General Omar Ayub Khan alleged that the government and its allies were targeting the party through a “pre-planned attack”.

A post on X, formerly Twitter, was attributed to the former prime minister, which read: “Every Pakistani should study the Hamood ur Rahman Commission Report and get to know who was the true traitor, General Yahya Khan or Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.”

The post drew flak from government members and other politicians, with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif saying that Khan’s true face was finally in front of the nation, implying that he wanted to divide the country.

In response, the party said the PTI founder had nothing to do with the post since he was in jail. Later, a leader said everything was posted with Khan’s approval, opening a new Pandora’s box.

However, the party later owned the post and said it was uploaded to inform the public about past mistakes as it was crucial to learn from them so they aren’t repeated. The FIA then issued notices to the party leaders.

In the petition filed today, the PTI leader said: “…in the garb of the alleged tweet, the FIA is hell-bent on making another case against Imran Khan, workers of PTI and its leadership.”

The notices issued to the leaders, the plea said, are void, illegal, without jurisdiction, and malafide, having been issued without lawful authority, and are liable to be set aside.

The plea said that the contents of the notices — issued on May 30 — are vague and the purpose of the notice, the information sought, and its connection with the complaint has not been explained.

They mentioned that “it is well established” that the right to a fair trial includes the right to a fair investigation. In this case, however, it said, it is clear from the complaint and surrounding circumstances and the notice that the petitioners would not be treated in accordance with the law and would also be denied a fair investigation.

They added that in the case, it appears that the complainant, namely Anees Ur Rehman, technical assistant FIA, CCRC, made the alleged complaint without “approval of the federal government and under a dictation”.

The plea said that Rehman is neither personally aggrieved nor is there any reference to any previous approval with regard to the alleged commission of offence granted by any authority or institution.

The plea said that the FIA’s decision to initiate an inquiry regarding the misuse of the X account is tainted with “malice” in a bid to “victimi[s]e, oppress, and target the workers and leadership of PTI” with a view to causing irreparable damage to the party.

“The petitioners have already explained their and party’s position on TV shows and they have nothing to do with the said tweet and it is worth mentioning. The impugned notice is ex-facie illegal and malafide.”