PTI hires Khawaja Haris for Toshakhana case

The senior lawyer has represented the Sharif family for decades

Hasnaat Malik February 07, 2023
Khawaja Haris has been appearing on behalf of the Sharif family for the last two decades. PHOTO: FILE


Former prime minister Imran Khan has engaged Khawaja Haris in the Toshakhana case.

Additional Sessions Judge Zafer Iqbal, while hearing the case, rejected the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) counsel’s request to issue an arrest warrant for Imran and decided to frame charges against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief for criminal lawsuit proceedings in the Toshakhana case on Tuesday.

PTI has engaged the services of Haris in this case. Even though he already signed vakalatnama, no instruction is given to him regarding his appearance before the court on Tuesday.

Earlier , Ali Zafar advocate was appearing on behalf of Imran in this matter. He had also argued before the ECP. Now, Haris is being hired to defend the former premier before the trial court. Haris has already attended legal team members' meetings in this matter.

One senior PTI lawyer, however, believes that the PTI wants to linger on the trial as much as possible.

Such political cases do not decide on legal arguments but also on appropriate strategy, he adds.

He, however, insisted that Imran still has a good case, and even serious jurisdictional issues can be raised at the initial stage.

Regarding the Toshakhana case hearing, the PTI lawyer says that an application will be moved on behalf of Imran on Tuesday for exception on medical grounds, etc.

Presently Imran is residing in Lahore, but the sword of disqualification is hanging over.

The party may try to linger on the trial, however, dark clouds are still threatening and Imran's fate is dependent on the outcome of judicial proceedings in this case .

Earlier, the former premier engaged Haris to challenge the recent amendments in National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) in the Supreme Court (SC).

Haris has been appearing on behalf of the Sharif family for the last two decades. His father Khawaja Sultan was the counsel of former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif in the plane hijacking case in 2000.

Haris had assisted his father in that case. Later, he became the lawyer of the Sharif brothers after their return to Pakistan in 2008. Haris was also engaged by Nawaz to challenge his conviction in the hijacking case and won acquittal by the apex court.

Also read: Nawaz’s former lawyer to plead Imran’s case

During the PML-N government in Punjab, Haris was appointed as the advocate general but he resigned after two years. Also during the PML-N regime, Haris was engaged in cases related to the Signal-Free Corridor project as well as the Orange Line Train projects.

During the Panamagate case hearing, the Sharif family initially did not include Haris in the legal team. When a majority judgment of the apex court on April 26, 2017 constituted the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), Haris was engaged.

When the then JIT had submitted its report before the SC implementation bench, Haris raised questions on the material collected by the team. Later, Nawaz was disqualified by the bench under Article 62 (1)(f) of the Constitution.

After disqualifying Nawaz, the bench also referred the matter to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for filing reference against the Sharif family. During the trial, Haris had also appeared on behalf of Nawaz before the accountability court.

When Nawaz and his daughter, Maryam Nawaz, were convicted in the Avenfield case, Haris had challenged the accountability court’s verdict in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).


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