ISLAMABAD: An anti-terrorism court issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Shaukat Ali Yousufzai after he repeatedly failed to show up before the court in relation to an ongoing case investigating attacks on PTV and the Parliament House in 2014.
The court ordered Yousufzai be arrested and presented to the court in light of his repeated absences.
"We will face the previous government's fake cases head on and not run away," the provincial minister said to media outside the courtroom.
President Alvi, PM Imran seek acquittal in Parliament attack case
Non-bailable arrest warrants were also issued for 26 other Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) workers.
The court accepted exemption pleas for Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, senior PTI leader Jehangir Tareen, Finance Minister Asad Umar, and Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood.
The court could not hear arguments on the acquittal pleas of President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan, and Jehangir Tareen. The case has been adjourned till March 28.
PM Imran exempted from appearance in PTV, Parliament attack case
On August 31, 2014, in an attempt to topple the PML-N government, PTI and PAT workers had marched on the Parliament and the PM House while clashing with police along the way.
Hundreds of protesters allegedly belonging to the PTI and PAT had also briefly seized the state broadcaster on September 1, 2014 at a time when the country was under intense political crisis spearheaded by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan, Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief Tahirul Qadri and others.
Protesters stormed into the state broadcaster causing transmission of PTV news channel and PTV World to be cut off for a short period of time. The buildings were later cleared by the Pakistan Army.
An FIR was registered followed by a complaint by Secretariat Police Station House Officer (SHO) Inspector Mehboob Ahmed, who in his application, said that “protesters attacked the government building after snatching weapons from police officials.”
Imran, 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.