ISLAMABAD: The anti-terrorism court (ATC) of Islamabad on Monday suspended the arrest warrants issued against Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Abdul Aleem Khan and directed him to appear before it in person on Sept 30 in connection with cases of 2014’s attacks on Parliament House and PTV building.
ATC Judge Raja Jawad Abbas Hassan issued warrants for Aleem Khan since the latter remained absent from the hearing despite being on bail.
Advocate Shahid Naseem Gondal filed the application on behalf of Aleem Khan. He argued before the court that on an earlier hearing, his client was busy in Rawalpindi in connection with another case involving Prime Minister Imran Khan and his associate lawyer erroneously could not file the application seeking Aleem Khan’s exemption from personal appearance.
He, however, assured the court that Aleem Khan will appear before the court on the next date of hearing.
Subsequently, the court suspended the arrest warrants and directed the accused to appear before it on next date on Sept 30.
Police invoked relevant sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act against the PTI chief and incumbent Prime Minister Imran Khan, President Dr Arif Alvi, Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak, former finance minister Asad Umar, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood, Raja Khurram Nawaz, Jahangir Khan Tareen, Aleem Khan and others for allegedly inciting violence during the 2014 sit-in at Islamabad’s D-Chowk.
The court on July 30 exempted them from personal appearance. PM Khan had already given exemption from personal appearance in these cases. After Dr Alvi took the oath as president of the country, his counsel had advised him to avail the presidential immunity, however, he opted to pursue his case despite being head of the state.
Article 248 (2) of the Constitution states: “No criminal proceeding whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the President or a Governor in any court during term of office.”
According to the prosecution, three people were killed and 26 others injured, while 60 were arrested during the violence. The prosecution submitted 65 photos, sticks, cutters, etc, to the court to establish its case.
The prosecution said the protest was not peaceful and the accused sought bail after three years.
Workers of the PTI and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) marched towards Parliament House and the Prime Minister House on Aug 31, 2014, and clashed with police deployed at the Constitution Avenue.
Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2019