The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has granted Imran Khan, the Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), two-week protective bail in a case related to the murder of senior Supreme Court lawyer Abdul Razzaq Shar in Quetta. The bail was approved by a division bench comprising IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb.
Abdul Razzaq Shar was shot dead by unidentified assailants near Alamo Chowk on Airport Road in Quetta on June 6. The lawyer was on his way to the Balochistan High Court when his vehicle came under attack by armed men, resulting in his death from 15 bullet injuries.
Following the incident, both the government and the PTI exchanged accusations, blaming each other for the killing. An aide to the Prime Minister, Attaullah Tarar, alleged that Imran Khan ordered the lawyer’s murder to avoid accountability in a treason case. PTI spokesperson Raoof Hassan, on the other hand, accused Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah of being behind the assassination.
Abdul Razzaq Shar had previously filed a constitutional petition against Imran Khan in the Balochistan High Court, seeking legal action under Article 6 for high treason. The petition argued that Imran Khan should be tried under Article 6 based on a Supreme Court decision that recommended legal action against him and Qasim Suri for unlawfully dissolving the National Assembly in April 2022.
On June 6, a First Information Report (FIR) was registered against Imran Khan at Quetta’s Shaheed Jamil police station on the complaint of Abdul Razzaq Shar’s son, Advocate Siraj Ahmed. The complaint alleged that the former premier and others from the PTI were involved in his father’s murder due to the aforementioned case.
Imran Khan filed a petition in the IHC seeking bail in the case, citing the need to travel to Quetta and the unavailability of flights. The court granted him protective bail for two weeks.
In addition to the murder case, Imran Khan also secured bail in 17 other cases from the IHC, anti-terrorism court, and district court.
After the court hearings, Imran Khan appeared before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in Rawalpindi for an investigation into the Al-Qadir Trust case. The case alleges that Imran Khan and his wife obtained billions of rupees and land from Bahria Town Ltd for illegal purposes.
The IHC also granted Imran Khan bail in nine other cases until June 12, including cases related to the May 9 violence and allegations against top officers of state institutions. The court further extended the stay on criminal proceedings against Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case.
The granting of protective bail to Imran Khan in the murder case has sparked public interest and debate. The court’s decision allows Imran Khan to avoid immediate arrest while the investigation unfolds. The case remains ongoing, and further developments are expected in the coming weeks.