ISLAMABAD: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) cleared former prime minister Imran Khan of terrorism charges on Monday, removing sections of the terror law from two first information reports (FIRs) against him and other leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) related to the 2014 sit-in.

Judge Raja Jawad Abbas Hassan remanded the case to the sessions court.

The Secretariat police station had registered FIRs over the violence during the sit-in.

On Aug 31, 2014, workers of the PTI and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek had marched towards the Parliament House and the Prime Minister House, clashing with police deployed on the Constitution Avenue.

PTI leaders summoned

The same court summoned PTI leaders Asad Umar, Ali Nawaz Awan and others on Tuesday over an FIR registered against them in connection with a protest outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that turned violent.

ATC judge Raja Jawad Abbas Hassan ordered nine suspects to appear in person.

Earlier last week, the ATC had rejected the pre-arrest bail of PTI chairman Imran Khan for not attending the court’s proceedings.

According to the court’s order, Mr Khan filed the application for pre-arrest bail on Oct 24 last year, but he did not appear on consecutive hearings on Oct 31, 2022, Nov 10, 21, 28, Dec 9 and 19, Jan 10 and 31, 2023, as well as on Feb 2 and 15.

On the other hand, Mr Khan’s legal team wrote a letter to Islamabad police’s prosecution department to remove terrorism charges against the PTI chief.

The letter stated that “the alleged crime was neither terrorism nor the applicant and others were found to be members of any prescribed organisation”.

It stated that Mr Khan and others did not commit an act which would fall within the ambit of Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).

According to the letter, Section 7 of the ATA has been invoked in this matter in contradiction of the law laid down by the Supreme Court.

Published in Dawn, February 21st, 2023

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