ISLAMABAD: An anti-terrorism court on Tuesday granted Prime Minister Imran Khan permanent exemption from appearing before it in cases related to attacks on Pakistan Television (PTV) and Parliament House in 2014.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jehangir Tareen and other party leaders’ requests for exemption were also accepted by the ATC.
The ATC Judge Syed Kausar Abbas Zaidi had summoned all accused in the cases Tuesday.
PM Imran’s counsel, Babar Awan, appeared on his behalf before the ATC judge and submitted a request for the premier’s permanent exemption from hearings.
“If there is more than accused in a case than the suspects can be exempted from appearing,” Awan argued.
To this, the prosecutor remarked, “We have no reservations in granting PM Imran exemption from appearing.”
Awan then submitted an affidavit on the premier’s behalf and said, “I will appear in place of him.”
On Friday, PM Imran directed PTI’s legal team to file acquittal pleas in the cases registered against party leaders under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) during the 2014 sit-in.
The prime minister and other party leaders, including President-elect Dr Arif Alvi, Umar and Qureshi, are accused of attacking the Parliament and PTV office during the 2014 sit-in in Islamabad.
The PTI and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) leaders were booked after they marched towards the Parliament and PM House during the 2014 sit-in, in an attempt to topple the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government after the Model Town incident. They also clashed with policemen along their way. INP