LONDON: The PML-N expressed its displeasure towards today’s outcome, with party president Shehbaz Sharif saying that Imran’s sentence had been suspended and “not terminated”.
“The Chief Justice of Pakistan’s message of ’good to see you’ and ‘wish you good luck’ has reached the IHC,” he said, claiming that “everyone knew about the verdict before it was even announced”.
“This moment is a matter of concern for our justice system,” Shehbaz said. “If a clear message is received from the higher judiciary, what else should the subordinate court do?”
In a post on X last night, former interior minister Rana Sanaullah said, “He [Imran] will not come outside [of the jail] — release is not possible, [he] will have to face the prosecution in other cases!”
Shehbaz also criticised sitting Supreme Court Chief Justice mentioning his name Umar Ata Bandial for what he characterised as undue concern for PTI chief Imran Khan while discriminating and not having the same sentiments for his brother and his niece and let them sleep on floor and compelled them to eat jail’s meal.
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.