An anti-terrorism court in Lahore on Saturday issued non-bailable arrest warrants for PML-N leader Marriyum Aurangzeb due to her repeated absence from the court in a terror case registered against her last year.

The case was registered against Aurangzeb and senior PML-N leader Javed Latif in Lahore on Sep 19, 2022 for allegedly “using religion to instill and spread hatred” against PTI chief and former prime minister Imran Khan.

The first information report (FIR) was filed by a citizen — an imam of a local mosque — at Green Town Police Station of the provincial capital. In the FIR, the complainant said he came across a press conference of PML-N’s Latif on Sep 14 in which he hurled disturbing accusations at Imran in the name of religion.

Pakistan Television managing director and controller programme had also been nominated in the case. The complaint said the press conference was shown on national television.

At the hearing today, Advocate Farhad Ali Shah, representing Latif and Aurangzeb, appeared before the court.

ATC Judge Abher Gul Khan inquired about the whereabouts of the suspects and was informed that Latif had appeared, while Aurangzeb had not.

Consequently, the judge issued non-bailable arrest warrants for the former information minister and directed all suspects named in the case to appear before the court on December 9.

The FIR

According to the FIR, the complainant had said Latif accused the PTI chief of “attacking the basic principles of Islam” by “supporting” the Ahmediyya community during his tenure.

“When Imran made the Naya Pakistan, units of Qadianis became active in Karachi […] Did Imran not give interviews to the foreign media in which he said that Qadianis will be given religious freedom,” Latif had said.

Later the same day, leaders of the PTI had lambasted the then coalition government — particularly the PML-N — for “using religion to spread hatred” against Imran.

According to FIR, the complainant said the PTI chairman was an ardent follower of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and a patriotic Pakistani who was recognised the world over for his welfare works. He added that Imran also spearheaded efforts for the inclusion of content related to the Seerat-un-Nabi (PBUH) in curriculums at primary school levels.

“In his press conference, Latif declared Imran as non-Muslim and he deliberately used these words to incite his followers and create a law and order situation,” the complaint said.

The FIR had said Latif made the controversial remarks at the behest of the party leadership as well as Aurangzeb in order to spread religious hatred against Imran.

The complainant had said he watched another presser by Latif a day later wherein he insisted that he stood by his earlier statement.

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