PM seeks acquittal in Parliament House attack case

Published October 27, 2020
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday urged an anti-terrorism court (ATC) to acquit him in the Parliament House attack case as the prosecution is no more interested in pursuing it. — APP/File
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday urged an anti-terrorism court (ATC) to acquit him in the Parliament House attack case as the prosecution is no more interested in pursuing it. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday urged an anti-terrorism court (ATC) to acquit him in the Parliament House attack case as the prosecution is no more interested in pursuing it.

Through his lawyer, Abdullah Babar Awan, the son of Adviser to the PM on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan, Mr Khan informed the court that the “prosecution stands in favour of [his] acquittal”.

Prosecution lawyers are appointed by and take ins­t­ructions from the sitting government. The then prosecution team under the PML-N government had fou­ght the Parliament House attack case but with a new team under the PTI government, the situation has changed.

The anti-terrorism court is likely to announce a decision on the application seeking acquittal of Prime Minister Khan on Oct 29.

The application stated that “the prosecution is not interested to prosecute the applicant [Imran Khan]. The learned prosecutor appearing for the other side is heard and the learned prosecutor candidly conceded that in this false case the charge against the petitioner is groundless and there is no probability of the conviction and therefore, the learned prosecutor agreed that this is a fit case for acquittal.”

It further stated: “The applicant is maliciously implicated and dragged in this false case. Further proceedings shall cause harassment and political victimisation. Particularly, after the prosecution stands in favour of the acquittal of the applicant.”

According to the counsel, not a single witness of the prosecution had linked Imran Khan with the offence, adding that there was no direct or indirect evidence available on record against the prime minister.

Mr Awan said the case in hand was politically motivated with no evidence therefore there was no probability of the conviction of Mr Khan.

The case is related to violence that took place during the sit-in jointly organised by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek in 2014.

Police on Aug 31, 2014 had invoked sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act against Imran Khan and other leaders including the incumbent president Dr Arif Alvi, federal ministers Asad Umar, Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Shafqat Mahmood for inciting violence during the sit-in.

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

Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2020

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