Updated May 29th, 2024 at 14:28 IST

Supporters of Imran Khan Attack Bushra Bibi’s Ex-Husband at Islamabad High Court

The incident unfolded as Manika entered the court for a hearing expected to deliver a critical verdict in the Iddat case.

Reported by: Kaswar Klasra
Edited by: Tanisha Rajput
Supporters of Imran Khan Attack Bushra Bibi’s Ex-Husband at Islamabad High Court | Image:Republic
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Islamabad: In a dramatic and violent turn of events, supporters of Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party attacked Khawar Manika, the ex-husband of former First Lady Bushra Bibi, within the premises of the Islamabad High Court. The incident unfolded as Manika entered the court for a hearing expected to deliver a critical verdict in the Iddat case, a legal battle that has captivated national attention.

Background of the Case

The Iddat case revolves around the marriage of Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi. According to Islamic law, Iddat is a period a woman must observe after the death of her spouse or after a divorce, during which she may not marry another man. The case questions whether Bushra Bibi adhered to this period before marrying Imran Khan. The implications of the case are significant, as both Khan and Bibi are currently serving a seven-year term due to alleged violations related to their marriage. This controversial case has intensified political and social tensions, especially among PTI supporters and their opponents.

The Incident

As Khawar Manika entered the Islamabad High Court, he was met with hostility from a group of PTI supporters who had gathered outside the court. Eyewitnesses reported that the crowd, visibly agitated and aggressive, began shouting abusive remarks at Manika. The situation quickly escalated when some supporters physically attacked him, slapping him and throwing bottles, causing chaos within the court premises. Manika’s legal team, present during the attack, attempted to shield him but struggled to contain the frenzied crowd.

Eyewitness Accounts

One eyewitness, Ayesha Malik, a lawyer present at the scene, described the chaos: "It was a horrifying scene. The PTI supporters were shouting slogans and hurling abuses at Khawar Manika. When he tried to enter the court, they surrounded him, and before we knew it, they were hitting him and throwing bottles. It was complete mayhem, and the security personnel were overwhelmed."

Security Lapses

The attack has raised serious questions about the security arrangements at the Islamabad High Court. Despite the high-profile nature of the case and the obvious tensions, security measures appeared inadequate to handle the aggressive crowd. Legal experts and court officials have expressed concern over the breach, calling for a thorough investigation into the lapses that allowed such an incident to occur within the court’s premises.

Political Repercussions

The assault on Khawar Manika underscores the heightened political stakes surrounding the Iddat case. PTI supporters view the case as a politically motivated attack on their leader, Imran Khan, who has maintained a significant following despite legal and political challenges. The incident is likely to inflame already high tensions between PTI supporters and their opponents, potentially leading to further unrest.

Political analyst Dr. Fahad Hussain commented on the situation: "This incident is a clear indication of the volatile political climate in Pakistan. The Iddat case is not just a legal matter but a deeply political one, and emotions are running high on both sides. The attack on Manika reflects the desperation and frustration among PTI supporters who see their leader being targeted unfairly."

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Legal Implications

The Iddat case's verdict, expected later today, holds significant legal implications for Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi. If the court rules against them, it could lead to further legal challenges and possibly additional penalties. Conversely, a ruling in their favour could bolster PTI's narrative of victimization and persecution.

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Legal expert Barrister Ali Zafar explained: "The Iddat case is pivotal not only for Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi but also for the broader legal and political landscape in Pakistan. A ruling against them would reaffirm the allegations of impropriety in their marriage, while a ruling in their favor would be a significant victory for PTI and could potentially vindicate their claims of political victimisation."

Public Reaction

The public reaction to the attack has been mixed. PTI supporters have defended their actions, arguing that Khawar Manika’s role in the case has been provocative and that he deserved the backlash. On social media, many PTI followers expressed support for the attackers, while others condemned the violence and called for restraint.

Conversely, critics of PTI have denounced the attack as a blatant act of lawlessness and a dangerous precedent. Human rights organizations have also weighed in, condemning the violence and urging the government to ensure the safety and security of all individuals involved in legal proceedings

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Published May 29th, 2024 at 14:28 IST