ATC declares Imran, Qadri absconders

Published November 14, 2014
PTI Chairman Imran Khan and PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri during a protest rally in Islamabad. -Reuters/File
PTI Chairman Imran Khan and PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri during a protest rally in Islamabad. -Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Judge Syed Kausar Abbas Zaidi on Friday declared Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri as absconders in a case relating to the attack on senior police officer SSP Asmatullah Junejo.

SSP Junejo was wounded on Sept 1 when PTI and PAT protesters penetrated law enforcers turf and stormed the PTV headquarters and the precincts of the Parliament.

Junejo was wounded following his arrival at the scene where he sought to lead his men in confronting the protesters. He was not wearing protective gear and raced ahead of his own squad of more than a dozen policemen and was surrounded and thrashed by the onrushing, stick-wielding protesters.

At the time of attack, the senior police officer was accompanied only by his Constable Sajjad Ahmad, who had later registered a case with the Secretariat police over the incident.

An ATC on Wednesday had issued non-bailable warrants against Imran, Qadri and other leaders belonging to PAT and PTI, including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi, PTI leader Asad Umar and PAT leader Raheeq Abbasi for attacking the PTV building and Parliament.

Read: PTI chief dares govt to arrest him

After the warrants were issued, Imran Khan had said he would not seek bail from the ATC, daring the government to arrest him.

In September, charged protesters of PTI and PAT broke into the PTV headquarters, a state-owned media enterprise.

As soon as angry protesters entered the news headquarters of the state-owned television channel, they took over the programming control room and transmission was taken off air temporarily. It was later restored after the army stepped in to vacate the building.

The protesters damaged furniture and television equipment during the rampage and also took away rare pictures, food items from the canteen and even the sound system from the building’s mosque.

The federal government termed the attack on the PTV building an act of "aggression and violence".

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