Hanif Abbasi
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The apex court on Tuesday asked the counsel of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) leader, Hanif Abbasi, which of his fundamental rights were usurped by Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan, that led him to move the court for his disqualification.

“This petition is a counterblast because there was a challenge to your party head,” said Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, referring to the Panama Papers petition that was filed by Khan against former Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif.

Read more: Imran more open to accountability than Sharifs?

The remarks were made when the Supreme Court resumed the hearing of Hanif Abbasi’s petition seeking the disqualification of Imran Khan and PTI leader, Jahangir Tareen.

Sharif family is unsuccessfully resorting to delaying tactics, Khan is dishing out documents after documents.

Hanif Abbasi’s tiff with Imran Khan goes back a few years. Khan defeated Abbasi and grabbed the National Assembly seat from NA-56 Rawalpindi in the 2013 General Elections. Khan, who won from three seats in the elections, retained the NA-56 seat, terming it a valuable seat. 

He had remarked back then that he defeated one of the biggest sidekicks of the Sharif family. Abbasi had confidently remarked that he would finish Khan’s political career.This is the second time when the apex court has seemingly spoken in favour of the former-cricket-legend, Imran Khan.

Last month, the court observed that while Imran Khan and Jahangir Tareen provided answers and evidence when asked, the Sharif family was not as forthcoming in its case regarding the Panama Papers.

Read more: Imran’s case vs Nawaz’s case; no comparison?

During that particular hearing on 23rd October, the court said that the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was constituted in the Panama Case because the Sharifs were not as forthcoming as Khan when referring to their assets. 

Khan defeated Abbasi and grabbed the National Assembly seat from NA-56 Rawalpindi in the 2013 General Elections.

 Khan,65, has, according to analysts, presented particulars of his records from the 1970’s to include his contracts with Kerry Packer and Sussex County. His case has been supported by his ex-wife Jemima Khan, who has provided old bank statements. However, as keen observers can confirm, most of the high-profile cases are more hostage to politics than they are to legal merits.

Read more: Is PTI’s future as a political entity hanging in a balance?

Talking to the media today, PTI spokesman, Fawad Chaudhary said there is nothing in this politically motivated case. “After finding nothing wrong with Khan’s money trail, they [N League’s lawyers] are now asking for Jamima’s assets,” Fawad said.

Khan’s good political health is least desired for the PML-N. It would be interesting to see how the 65-year old wriggle out from the Supreme Court after settling the case in the Election Commission of Pakistan. While the Sharif family is unsuccessfully resorting to delaying tactics, Khan is dishing out documents after documents.

On 23rd October, the court said that the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was constituted in the Panama Case because the Sharifs were not as honest as Khan when referring to their assets. 

Analysts observe that Despite the efforts to disqualify Khan that are in full swing, there is little that the Supreme Court can pick on. Khan, as confident as ever, has quashed away the impressions that he will be disqualified. He, however, is mindful that he can be shown the door on frivolous grounds. He believes that since he is the biggest threat to the Sharif kingdom, the PML-N will try to influence institutions to get him disqualified.

Read more: PMLN’S Strategy to get PTI disqualified?

Watchers have also observed that there is more politics in the case than merits. Some argue that the PML-N wants to offset the damage of the ouster of Nawaz Sharif by pushing for the disqualification of Khan. Let’s see if the highly touted balancing theory is invoked or will it remain a figment of opponents’ imagination.

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