The Lahore High Court (LHC) has allowed Khadija Shah, who supports the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) political party and is a designer, to be released on bail. She was involved in two cases related to setting a building called Askari Tower on fire and attacking Jinnah House on May 9.
These incidents occurred as a reaction of the arrest of the former Prime Minister and PTI leader, Imran Khan.
In a previous audio clip circulating on social media, Khadija had explained the difficulties her family had faced in the days leading up to her surrender. In July, the LHC’s division bench dismissed petitions challenging the detention of Khadija and other female PTI supporters, including Huma Saeed. These petitions also questioned the legal status of their detention and sought to declare certain legal procedures as illegal.
During the court proceedings, a judge named Justice Aalia first granted bail to Khadija in the case related to Askari Tower and then in the case of attacking Jinnah House. Earlier, the judge had reserved the decision after hearing detailed arguments in both cases.
During previous hearings, Khadija’s lawyer argued that the investigations in these cases were complete, and there wasn’t enough evidence to prove her guilt. Therefore, he asked the court to grant her bail in both cases.
However, the special prosecutor argued that Khadija was involved in causing a disturbance, spreading chaos, and attacking Jinnah House. He said she had also chanted slogans against the state. In response, Justice Aalia remarked that it’s common in our society for people to protest when a leader calls for it and that authorities should not closely scrutinize such actions.
Khadija’s family members were present in the courtroom when the decision was announced, and her husband expressed gratitude that her bail requests were approved.
Additionally, the same bench of judges granted bail to six other individuals who were arrested in connection with the riots, disorder, and law and order issues on May 9.