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PML-N, PPP take exception to Imran Khan’s bail in cipher case

“Are big leaders absolved of everything,” wonders Sharjeel Memon; PML-N asks how Imran Khan can be spared

PML-N leader Malik Ahmad Khan (L) and PPP leader Sharjeel Inam Memon (R) on December 23, 2024. —Screengrab/Geo News
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LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Saturday expressed disapproval of the Supreme Court ruling in the cipher case giving relief to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan.  

The comments from the senior party leaders came following the ex-PTI chairman’s bail a day earlier.

During a media talk in Lahore, senior PML-N leader Malik Ahmad Khan wondered how Imran Khan could be spared for his violation of the Official Secrets Act without completing the investigation into the matter.

“So, if someone has committed a crime, will you spare him without investigation? Should the violation of the Constitution and law be mixed with the level-playing field?” he questioned.

The PML-N leader asked how a party could be given its electoral symbol if it was legally prohibited from contesting elections for failing to hold intra-party elections as per the rules specified by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The ECP Friday evening stripped PTI of its ‘bat’ symbol. Announcing its reserved verdict, a five-member ECP bench — headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja — declared PTI’s intra-party elections “unlawful”.

The PML-N leader said the ECP raised objections on the PTI’s intra-party elections as its legitimate questions were not answered.

While mentioning the SC verdict in the cipher case, Malik said first Khan held a short cabinet meeting on the secret document and then immediately recommended the president to dissolve the assemblies on its basis. 

He likened the PTI’s move to the violation of the Constitution by the military dictators.

‘Pakistan suffered unbearable loss because of cipher’

Separately, addressing a presser in Karachi, PPP leader Sharjeel Inam Memon said Pakistan suffered unbearable loss because of cipher and till today the country’s economy is suffering from this.

He said a hostile country benefited through it as everyone saw how the Indian media highlighted the cipher case.

Memon said the ones whose parties were launched by few people were not big leaders and cited Asif Ali Zardari’s “Pakistan Khappay” slogan at Benazir Bhutto’s death as an example of statesmanship. 

He said multiple leaders served jail terms in the past. He alleged that the PTI robbed people of their rights in the 2018 elections through RTS.

The PPP leader also said the PTI founder was a favourite and lambasted him for “spreading negativity among the youth” through social media.

“Does a big party mean the law will not apply to it? Are big leaders absolved of everything,” he questioned.

Memon appealed not to equate those with the PTI founder who wanted the development of the country. Everyone has started assuming the former PM is innocent, he lamented.

“If someone is getting funding from India and Israel, he can never benefit the country,” he said adding that the PPP itself wanted a level-playing field for everybody. 

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