Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday questioned the Supreme Court’s granting of relief to its “ladla” Imran Khan, saying its “double standards” have led to the death of justice in Pakistan.
In a major relief for Khan, Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Thursday declared his dramatic arrest “unlawful” and “invalid” and ordered his immediate release after he was produced before a bench on its orders.
Mr Khan, 70, was arrested on Tuesday outside the Islamabad High Court (IHC) and an accountability court on Wednesday handed him over to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for eight days’ remand in connection with the Al-Qadir Trust corruption case.
Responding to the Supreme Court’s relief to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Mr Khan, Mr Sharif said, “When he (Imran) was presented in court yesterday, the CJP said it is good to see you. And, he said this in a case of corruption.”
“If you want to keep favouring this ladla (pampered), then you should also release all the dacoits behind bars in the country. Let this be free for all,” he said while addressing the federal Cabinet on Friday.
He asked why such leniences were not given to his brother and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and other members of the federal coalition who were arrested when Khan was the prime minister.
“No one spoke to Nawaz about injustices suffered by him. Such double standards have caused the death of justice in Pakistan,” he was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday granted bail to PTI Chairman Khan in the Al-Qadir Trust case for two weeks.
Khan’s arrest on Tuesday sparked widespread protests across Pakistan, prompting the government to deploy the army in the national capital, as well as in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces. The violent protests left at least eight people dead.
On Thursday, a three-member top court bench, comprising Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Athar Minallah, ordered his immediate release.
Khan is facing over 120 cases across the country, including for allegedly committing treason and blasphemy and inciting violence and terrorism.
He was ousted from power in April after losing a no-confidence vote in his leadership, which he alleged was part of a US-led conspiracy targeting him because of his independent foreign policy decisions on Russia, China and Afghanistan.
He is the only Pakistani prime minister to be ousted in a no-confidence vote in Parliament.