It is always a good rule not to speak publically about a case, when it is in proceeding in the court. However, Imran Khan has never been a man to take care of diplomatic wisdoms; after an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Islamabad accepted Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran’s bail appeal in all four cases regarding an attack on Pakistan Television (PTV) headquarters in 2014, Imran took to the media, announcing that the decision proved that he was sadiq and ameen; and that he was a ladla (darling) of the court because he abided by the law.
The PTI chairman needs to be gently disabused of these notions. Firstly a bail is granted when the accused is not considered an immediate threat to society or a flight risk - it does not equal exoneration. To call allowance of bail a “decision” which proves his innocence would be a disillusion. In fact, Imran’s request to move the case to civil court was denied - it is still in the ATC.
Moreover, as pointed out by the state lawyer, Imran Khan’s boast of a proud abider of the law do not match up to his actions— the only reason he is in court is because he was declared a proclaimed offender and officials were at his premise to seize his property - he did not voluntarily surrender to the court like he was legally supposed to. Only in November 2017, two years after being declared an offender, did the PTI chief finally surrender before the ATC.
Imran’s comment of ‘sadiq’ and ‘ameen’ is irrelevant, as he is on trial for inciting violence, not corruption. His conflating this case, with his disqualification case, renders dangerously on misinforming the public. This instance was a textbook case of inciting violence; his and Tahir-ul-Qadri’s inflammatory speeches at the dharna, and the resulting violence by his followers - all caught on tape - leave little room for disagreement over the course of the event, whatever Imran might say.
It is true that while the ‘ladla’ term was first invoked by Maryam, Imran needs to learn that he does need to respond to every comment made his way. When there exist a large body of opinion – mostly belonging to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) - saying that he is being treated favourably by the courts, fanning the flames by using the term to describe him in what will certainly be another polarising trial is ill-advised.