The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Wednesday directed director general Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to remove the names of PTI leaders from the ‘stop list’ immediately and avoid harassing anyone. The directive came during the hearing of petitions challenging the placement of PTI leaders Shahbaz Gill, Shahzad Akbar and others on the stop list. FIA had placed the names of key aides of former prime minister Imran Khan, including PM’s former principal secretary Azam Khan, ex-special assistant to PM on political communication Shahbaz Gill, ex-adviser to PM on interior and accountability Shahzad Akbar, Punjab Director-General Gohar Nafees, and FIA Punjab Zone DG Mohammad Rizwan. Gill, Akbar, FIA law director and joint interior secretary appeared before the court. At the outset of the hearing, the law director informed the court that he had received a request from the FIA Islamabad zone on April 8, indicating an extraordinary situation in the country. At this, Chief Justice Athar Minallah inquired if martial law had been imposed in the country, says a news report. Meanwhile, the FIA official maintained that two separate inquiries had been registered. The court inquired if a new FIA had replaced the old one, noting that the agency regularly attends this court. “This is a serious matter. The court will never allow any action based on vengeance [former against govt officials],” Justice Minallah remarked. Meanwhile, the petitioners’ counsel informed the court that the authorities didn’t comply with judicial orders as Gill and Akbar’s names are still on the stop list. The court reprimanded the FIA official, asking when the agency became independent enough to launch an inquiry against government officials. At this, the FIA official said they received the court’s orders for removing the names from the stop list late as the officials had gone to offer taraveeh prayers. However, the official assured the court that the orders will be followed now. Akbar requested the court to question the FIA if it launched an inquiry against the civil servants whose names were on the stop list. “Ask them if they want us to move to Adiala [jail] on our own,” he said. At this, Justice Minallah asked if Akbar wanted to go to jail. Akbar said they “might have to go to jail if the situation remained the same.” Responding to this comment, Gill’s lawyer said his client does not maintain such a statement. Justice Minallah extended the stay, suspending the FIA’s flight ban and directed the agency to remove the names from the stop list. Meanwhile, the FIA officials sought an extension for submission of a reply. The court directed the FIA DG and interior secretary to submit a report on the matter and adjourned the hearing till April 18.