A special court in Pakistan on Wednesday granted permission to jailed former prime minister Imran Khan to have a phone conversation with his two sons, according to a media report.
In a one-page written order, special court judge Abual Hasnat Zulqarnain, directed the superintendent of Adiala Jail, where Khan is currently lodged, to ensure that Khan speaks to his sons, Sulaiman Khan and Qasim Khan, over the phone, Geo News reported.
The 71-year-old Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman, who has been at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi in the cipher case, was arrested in August after a case was filed against him for allegedly violating the Official Secrets Act by disclosing a secret diplomatic cable (cipher) sent by the country’s embassy in Washington in March last year.
The court last week declared that Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi would be indicted during the next hearing on October 17, which would mark the official start of the trial. However, on Tuesday, the Special Court had adjourned till October 23 the indictment of Khan and his close aide Qureshi.
The deposed prime minister had submitted a plea to the special court on September 11, seeking contempt of court against Attock jail superintendent who refused to allow him to speak with his sons, despite court orders issued previously in this regard, GeoTV said.
“(Khan) was earlier granted permission by the special court, formed to hear cases registered under the Official Secrets Act, to speak to his sons. However, the PTI chief in the petition sought contempt of court proceedings against the Attock jail superintendent for violating the court’s order,” the media report said.
Ousted through a vote of no-confidence in April 2022, Khan was incarcerated on August 5 this year, after an Islamabad court sentenced him to three years in prison in the Toshakhana case.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief was lodged in the Attock District Jail to serve his prison term. Later, his sentence was suspended by the Islamabad High Court, but then, he was arrested in the cipher case and remained in the Attock jail on judicial remand.
Giving the chronology of events, Geo News described how, at the time of filing the plea, Khan was in judicial custody at the Attock jail. He was there till September 13 in the cipher case since his arrest on August 5 after a trial convicted him in the Toshakhana case.
“Khan was earlier granted permission by the special court, formed to hear cases registered under the Official Secrets Act, to speak to his sons. However, the PTI chief in the petition sought contempt of court proceedings against the Attock jail superintendent for violating the court’s order,” the report said.
The Attock jail authorities, in their reply to the contempt of court petition, argued that jail rules do not allow the accused facing charges under the Official Secrets Act to speak over the phone citing the Prisoners Act, 1978.
The SOPs regarding telephone conversations were presented to the court. Khan’s lawyer quoted the Federal Shariat Court’s decision in this regard and submitted a copy of the Federal Shariat Court’s relevant verdict before the judge.
The judge then went on to authorise permission for the PTI chairman to speak to his sons over a phone call, Geo News added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)