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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Pakistan’s Imran Khan formally named in ‘abetting’ lawyer’s drive-by murder

Police registered an “abetment to murder” case against former cricket hero Khan, 70, who faces dozens of charges since his ouster in a parliamentary vote of confidence in April last year.

Quetta Police on Wednesday formally named former prime minister Imran Khan in connection with the murder by unknown gunmen of a lawyer seeking sedition proceedings against him.

Police registered an “abetment to murder” case against former cricket hero Khan, 70, who faces dozens of charges since his ouster in a parliamentary vote of confidence in April last year.

Read more: Imran Khan & Bushra Bibi face fraud charge in Toshakhana case

Khan, who has not been charged in connection with the lawyer’s murder, has dismissed all the cases against him as concocted by his opponents.

Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party’s information secretary, Rauf Hasan, did not respond to a request for comment.

Provincial government spokesman Babar Khan said Khan could face formal charges if and when the murder case goes to trial.

Abdul Razaq, the murdered lawyer, had filed a court petition seeking sedition proceedings against Khan for dissolving his government after the no-confidence motion.

Razaq was on his way to court on Tuesday when gunmen on a motorcycle shot and killed him, police said.

Read more: Pakistan’s Imran Khan openly accuses military of trying to destroy his party

Razaq’s son, Siraj Ahmad, also a lawyer, told police that his father had been killed by unknown men with the “abetment of the former prime minister”, according to a police report filed by him and seen by Reuters.

It was not immediately clear how the link between unknown gunmen and Khan was made.

According to the copy of the FIR shared by the party, the complainant told police that his father had registered a case against Khan and he was receiving threats. “I name Imran Khan in the FIR because threats were being given to my father at his behest,” he said.

Shar had filed a constitutional petition against Khan and former deputy speaker Qasim Suri in the Balochistan High Court for proceedings under Article 6 that pertained to high treason for illegally dissolving the National Assembly in April 2022 after the joint opposition had moved a no-trust motion against the PTI government.

Earlier, prime minister Shehbaz Sharif‘s aide Attaullah Tarar had alleged that Shar was killed at the behest of Khan to evade accountability in a treason case.

PTI spokesperson Raoof Hassan rejected the claim and instead accused Sharif and interior minister Rana Sanaullah of planning the murder.

Separately, a case of fraud was filed against Khan at Islamabad’s Kohsar police station on June 6 for presenting fake receipts to buy Toshakhana gifts.

Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi and his former aides Shahzad Akbar and Zulfi Bukhari, and a friend of Bibi, Farah Gogi, have been named in the case.