ATC grants bail to PTI leaders in PTV, Parliament case

Shireen Mazari exonerated from case


Rizwan Shehzad February 08, 2018
Imran Khan with Shah Mehmood Qureshi (left) and Jahangir Tareen (right). PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: An anti-terrorism court confirmed on Thursday interim pre-arrest bails earlier granted to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders – including Asad Umar, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Shafqat Mehmood, Arif Alvi and Raja Khurram Nawaz – in parliament and Pakistan Television (PTV) attack cases.

Meanwhile, another PTI leader Shireen Mazari was exonerated from a case after the investigation officer confirmed that though she was named in an FIR and her warrant was also issued, she was not named in the supplementary charge-sheet.

ATC summons Imran Khan in SSP Junejo, PTV attacks

Apparently, Mazari found the contents of the FIR read by her counsel Ali Bokhari amusing when he reached the part giving details about weapons used during the 2014 sit-in.

Mazari hardly controlled her laughter when she along with other PTI leaders were accused of leading the rally and providing weapons, including sticks, cutters, slingshot, axes and marbles to the sit-in protestors.

In his arguments, prosecutor Shafqaat Chaudhry alleged that the PTI leaders were responsible for the deaths of three people during the 2014 sit-ins.

He added that the suspects not only brought people from their respective areas but also supplied them weapons.

When the prosecutor requested the court to dismiss suspects’ bail application, saying their custody was needed for further interrogation, Mazari stood from her seat slowly, saying “have some fear of God, we are parliamentarians and they should know that”.

She continued to mumble words like “Tauba Tauba” and “such lies” throughout the hearing.

Bokhari informed the court that the PTI chairman is already granted bail and the rule of consistency applies on the petitioners in the instant cases. He added that the supplementary charge-sheet is always filed to cover up lacunas in the charge-sheet filed earlier.

He added that the petitioners were members of the National Assembly, they came for every session of the assembly and yet the police never arrested them. He said the cases were false and, therefore, their bails be confirmed.

Chaudhry argued that the protest was not peaceful and they have come to the court for bail after a period of three years.

He admitted that police should have arrested them earlier, adding the suspects are educated people, yet they violated the Constitution and incited people to topple the government.

He said three people were killed, 26 people were injured and 60 others were arrested, adding the prosecution has submitted 65 photos, three USBs, sticks, cutters, etc, in the court to establish the case.

Counsel for the PTI leaders said the “petitioners were out of court”, if the prosecution could present one photo, showing the petitioners were actually attacking any building.

ATC Judge Shahrukh Arjumand reserved the verdict for a while and later confirmed their bails in the cases.

PTV harassment case appears resolved for now

Earlier, the court had confirmed Khan’s pre-arrest bail in cases pertaining to an attack on the then SSP Junejo, PTV and parliament as well as violation of the loudspeaker act during the 2014 sit-ins in the capital.

Political leaders and over a hundred workers and supporters of the PTI and the PAT were booked in the cases. The workers, who were arrested, were later released on bail.

On August 31, 2014, in an attempt to topple the PML-N government, the PTI and the PAT workers had marched on parliament and the PM House while clashing with policemen along the way.

On September 1, 2014, hundreds of men, allegedly protesters from the PTI and PAT camps, had ransacked the PTV office, parliament premises and brutally beaten up Junejo, less than 24 hours into his first day on the job as SSP operations.

Khan, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri and several others were booked over their alleged involvement in the attack during the 2014 sit-ins in the capital.

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