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ATC grants PTI leaders bail in terrorism cases

January 17, 2018

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PTI leader Asad Umar (C) seen at the court premises.—DawnNews
PTI leader Asad Umar (C) seen at the court premises.—DawnNews

An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Islamabad on Wednesday granted an interim bail to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leaders Shireen Mazari, Asad Umar and Arif Alvi after they surrendered in three terrorism cases, DawnNews reported.

Mazari, Umar and Alvi are among at least 28 others that have been nominated in cases regarding attacks on Parliament House, Pakistan Television (PTV) building and former senior superintendent of police Asmatullah Junejo during the anti-government protests in 2014.

The PTI leaders were granted bail after they surrendered and appeared in court for the first time since being nominated. They have been ordered to pay Rs100,000 in surety bonds to secure their bail.

The leaders, however, requested the court to accept their bail sum in cash instead of bonds which was accepted by ATC judge Shahrukh Arjumand who was hearing the case.

The ATC, however, declined the leaders' demand to reschedule the next hearing — to be held on January 23 — since an accountability court will hear an ongoing corruption reference against former premier Nawaz Sharif on the same date.

Earlier, Mazari exchanged heated words with the security staff for refusing to allow her car entry into the judicial complex.

"Nawaz Sharif is allowed in court premises with a motorcade. Why is he allowed to enter the judicial complex but not us?" she asked.

'No alliance with PPP'

Talking to the media outside the court, Alvi rejected the notion that PTI was forming an alliance with the PPP, saying that PTI workers would never respond to PPP co-chairman Asif Zardari's "call for corruption".

Explaining the reason behind joining Pakistan Awami Tehreek's (PAT) protest — that will also be joined by the PPP — Alvi said that his party was only joining the protest to demand justice for the 2014 Model Town killings. He further clarified that Zardari and PTI chief Imran Khan will attend the protests at different times.

PAT has announced to hold a rally to demand justice for the 2014 Model Town killings, allegedly on the orders of Punjab government officials, on The Mall in Lahore, supported by major parties including the PPP and PTI.

Imran and Zardari have repeatedly criticised each other's parties' governance and have rejected any chance of an alliance between their parties.