An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Islamabad on Friday moved to seize properties belonging to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri after the two repeatedly failed to appear in hearings of the Asmatullah Junejo case.
The ATC issued notices to the relevant police stations and revenue boards seeking details of the assets held by the two as a first step towards the attachment of their properties. The court will seize their properties as a next step if they still do not show up in court.
On February 3, an ATC had issued perpetual warrants of arrest against Khan and Qadri in a case related to an attack on a senior police officer during the 2014 dharna which paralysed Islamabad.
ATC judge Sohail Ikram had issued the perpetual arrest warrants after police submitted a report stating that the suspects could not be arrested despite a proclamation being issued.
On Sept 1, 2014 during the sit-ins, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Asmatullah Junejo was beaten up by protesters on Constitution Avenue on his first day on the job as SSP Operations of ICT Police.
Secretariat police had registered a case against several PTI and PAT workers for their alleged involvement in vandalism and attacking SSP Junejo.
The ATC had issued warrants for Khan and Qadri with directions to the police to produce them before the court. Police had later told the ATC that the execution of the arrest warrants against the two politicians could not take place as they were not found at their residence.
Police also submitted a report before the ATC, saying that a police party had gone to the residence of Imran Khan in Bani Gala where a security guard informed them that Khan was not at home and that he did not know where he was.
A similar report was submitted with regards to PAT Chairman Tahirul Qadri.
Correction: This story has been modified to reflect more accurately the process of seizure of property of an accused, whereby the court first seeks the details of properties held and subsequently orders their attachment.