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Undeclared martial law in Pakistan: Imran, if polls are delayed..CJ

Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan has filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the government invoking Article 245 in several provinces, terming it “undeclared martial law”. Under Article 245 of Pakistan's Constitution, the army can be called in to aid the civil administration to defend the country. Khan has filed a plea in the Supreme Court, challenging the invoking of Article 245 in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Islamabad and calling it “undeclared martial law”.Imran Khan said the government, on the pretext of May 9 violence and arson, is trying to dismantle the party by "forced divorces" and by trying PTI members in military courts. According to Khan, over 10,000 PTI workers and supporters are in jail and are facing custodial torture. But he remains defiant. Fawad Chaudhry, Dr Shireen Mazari, Fayyazul Hassan Chohan, Malik Amin Aslam, Mahmood Moulvi, Amir Kayani, Jai Prakash, Aftab Siddiqui and Sanjay Gangwani, among many others, left Imran Khan's party.

Meanwhile, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial said on Thursday that a delay in elections will allow “negative forces” to swing into action and "play tricks" on the country.The CJP’s remarks came during a hearing of the review petition filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) against the apex court's decision to conduct polls in Punjab on May 14. The bench that heard the plea included Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Ijazul Ahsan; this is the same bench that issued the directive on April 4. Following the bench's order, the electoral watchdog had informed the apex court that it could not conduct elections owing to security concerns and a paucity of funds.It then filed a review petition, stating that appointing a date for elections is not the Supreme Court’s mandate.

Lahore based anti-terrorism court on Thursday allowed the handover of 16 suspects, involved in the ransacking and vandalising of Jinnah House, to the commanding officer so they can be tried under the army laws, as the country tightens the noose on the perpetrators of May 9 mayhem. ATC Judge Abher Gul Khan accepted the request of the army officer who had sought the custody of the vandals presently confined in Camp Jail, Lahore. They were named in two separate cases filed in connection with the attack on Corps Commander House also known as Jinnah House.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said the ransacking and putting on fire of the Radio Pakistan building in Peshawar exposed the barbaric mindsets of the attackers, who had no regard for humanity and national heritage. “There is no difference between the rioters of May 9-10 and the terrorists,” he said, adding that his government would ensure that such deplorable incidents never repeat again. The prime minister said the ransacking of the historic building was against the spirit of patriotism and love for national heritage.

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