A session court on Saturday allowed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan to mark his attendance from his vehicle as chaos gripped the Islamabad Judicial Complex due to the former prime minister's appearance before a trial court.
The PTI chief arrived at the Islamabad Judicial Complex several moments earlier, where he will appear before a court in the Toshakhana case as the situation remains tense in the area.
The former prime minister's convoy faced several hurdles on its way from Lahore to Islamabad — from vehicles overturning to police and party workers clashing on several spots.
The hurdles led to Khan's delayed appearance before Additional Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal's court, where he was scheduled to reach at 3:30pm. However, the judge said that he would wait for the PTI chief to come and then start the hearing.
Amid the chaos, Islamabad police arrested Khan's Chief of Staff Shibli Faraz, however, released him minutes after the court directed the officials to present him before the court.
In line with PTI's insistence that Khan's life is in danger and he needs security, Islamabad Chief Commissioner Noorul Amin Mengal shifted the hearing from F-8 Court Complex to the Judicial Complex in G-11 as a "one-time dispensation".
Ahead of Khan's arrival at Islamabad's Judicial Complex, the area was put on high security to ensure law and order and avoid any untoward situations — as happened last month.
But a situation like last time took place as PTI workers began stone-pelting at authorities inside the premises of the Islamabad Judicial Complex, resulting in teargas being spread to the courtroom where Khan is set to appear.
For the second time in a row, the PTI workers broke the security barrier of the complex and entered its premises forcefully along with their party chief. Police sources also said that the workers were firing teargas at law enforcers.
As police and workers clashed, the law enforcers also hit party leaders — Shibli Faraz, Farrukh Habib, and Murad Saeed — with batons. A baton also hit Faraz on the head.
When Judge Iqbal arrived at the courtroom, Khan's lawyer, Gohar Ali, informed him that the PTI chief has arrived at the judicial complex, but he is facing hurdles in coming to the courtroom.
"No issues, let him come if he wants to. God bless Imran Khan, he is unable to reach [here]," the judge said, as he noted that he would wait for the PTI chief to appear.
The lawyer also told the judge that it isn't Khan's fault that workers have accompanied him.
Then Judge Iqbal said that the election commission's lawyers should take notice of what was happening inside the premises of the complex. He said the hearing would begin once Khan arrives and left for his chambers.
When he came back to the courtroom, Babar Awan told the judge that Khan's attendance should be marked in his car as the situation was tense outside.
The judge said if the attendance was marked in that manner, then what would happen during the hearing? As the PTI pressed for it, the judge allowed Khan's attendance to be marked in his car.
When Khan was en route to the capital, the Punjab Police resumed an operation at the PTI chief's residence, broke into his house, and arrested several party workers in the act.
In response, the former prime minister said it was "clear" that despite having gotten "bail" in the cases lodged against him, the Pakistan Democratic Movement-led government intends to arrest him.
"Despite knowing their malafide intentions, I am proceeding to Islamabad & the court bec[ause] I believe in rule of law. But ill intent of this cabal of crooks shd be clear to all."
"It is also obvious now that the entire siege of Lahore was not about ensuring I appear before the court in a case but was intended to take me away to prison so that I am unable to lead our election campaign," he added.
In another tweet, he added: "Meanwhile Punjab police have led an assault on my house in Zaman Park where Bushra Begum is alone. Under what law are they doing this?"