ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Monday suspended arrest warrants issued against Pakistan's Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Abdul Aleem Khan and ordered him to appear before him personally on September 30 in relationship with 2014 Attacks cases against the House of Parliament and the PTV building.
ATC Judge Raja Jawad Abbas Hassan issued arrest warrants for Aleem Khan as the latter remained absent from the hearing despite being on bail.
Attorney Shahid Naseem Gondal filed the application on behalf of Aleem Khan. He argued before the court that at a previous hearing, his client was busy in Rawalpindi in connection with another case related to Prime Minister Imran Khan and his associate lawyer by mistake could not file the request seeking Aleem Khan's exemption from personal appearance.
However, he assured the court that Aleem Khan will appear before the court on the next date of the hearing.
Subsequently, the court suspended the arrest warrants and ordered the defendant to appear before him on the next date of September 30.
Police invoked relevant sections of the Anti-Terror Law against the PTI chief and incumbent Prime Minister Imran Khan, President Dr. Arif Alvi, Defense Minister Pervaiz Khattak, former finance minister Asad Umar, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood, Raja Khurram Nawaz, Jahangir Khan Tareen, Aleem Khan and others for allegedly inciting violence during the 2014 sit-in in D-Chowk of Islamabad.
On July 30, the court exempted them from personal appearance. Prime Minister Khan had already exempted personal appearance in these cases. After Dr. Alvi took an oath as president of the country, his lawyer had advised him to make use of presidential immunity, however, he chose to continue his case despite being the head of state.
Article 248 (2) of the Constitution states: "No criminal proceedings shall be initiated or continued against the President or a Governor in any court during the term of office."
According to the prosecution, three people died and another 26 were injured, while 60 were arrested during the violence. The prosecution presented 65 photos, sticks, cutters, etc., to the court to establish its case.
The prosecution said the protest was not peaceful and the defendant sought bail after three years.
PTI workers and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) marched to the House of Parliament and the House of the Prime Minister on August 31, 2014, and clashed with the police deployed on Constitution Avenue.
Posted on Dawn, September 17, 2019