ISLAMABAD: Upholding its non-bailable warrants, an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad has directed police to implement its arrest orders for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri and 70 others in Pakistan Television headquarters (PTV) attack case.
ATC judge Syed Kausar Abbas Zaidi directed police to produce the suspects before court on November 17. Meanwhile, six suspects who appeared before the court were granted exemption from personal appearance in the case.
The warrants were issued in two separate FIRs by Secretariat police and others for attacking PTV headquarters and Parliament on August 31 and September 1, 2014.
On November 2, 2015, the ATC issued warrants for 17 suspects who failed to appear before the court in cases pertaining to attacks on PTV headquarters and Parliament House.
On May 31, the court issued warrants for Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri in connection with an attack on then Senior Superintendent of Islamabad Police (SSP) Asmatullah Junejo during their sit-in in the federal capital. Besides Imran and Qadri, the other accused were PTI vice-chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, PTI leader Saifullah Niazi and Asad Umar and PAT president Dr Raheeq Abbasi.
Hundreds of PTI and PAT supporters spearheaded by their chiefs had briefly seized the state broadcaster on September 1, 2014 at a time when the country was under intense political crisis.
The protesters had caused transmission of PTV news channel and PTV World to be cut off for a short period of time. The buildings were later cleared by Pakistan Army.
On August 31, 2014, in an attempt to topple the PML-N government, PTI and PAT workers marched towards the Prime Minister’s House. This had resulted in clashes between the protesters and law enforcers and caused the death of three PAT workers.
Today’s verdict has come at a time when PTI chairman is readying to launch mass protest in Islamabad on November 2 against an alleged massive corruption of the government relating to Panama Papers leaks.