ISLAMABAD: An anti-terrorism court of Islamabad on Monday exempted President Dr Arif Alvi and others from personal attendance in Parliament House and PTV attacks case proceedings.

The others accused exempted from personal attendance in this case are Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak, Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai, PTI’s Punjab President Ijaz Chaudhry, Jahangir Khan Tareen and MNA Asad Umar.

Prime Minister Imran Khan is also an accused in this case but he has been given permanent exemption from appearance.

Police invoked the anti-terrorism act against PTI chief Imran Khan and its leaders Dr Alvi, Asad Umar, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Shafqat Mehmood and Raja Khurram Nawaz for inciting violence during the 2014 sit-in.

As per the prosecution, three people were killed and 26 injured, while 60 were arrested. The prosecution had submitted 65 photos, sticks, cutters, etc, to the court as evidence to establish its case.

The prosecution said the protest was not peaceful and the PTI leaders sought bail after three years. On Aug 31, 2014, PTI and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers marched towards the Parliament House and Prime Minister House and clashed with police deployed at the Constitution Avenue.

In a related case, the ATC judge asked the foreign minister to respond in a petition in which he challenged the police statement declaring former prime minister Nawaz Sharif innocent in the FIR registered against him for directing the police to use force against the participants of 2014 sit-in.

The police had declared Nawaz Sharif innocent but left the case at the mercy of the court.

The court would take up this case on Nov19.

Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2019