Tuesday April 23, 2024

Non-bailable warrants out for Imran in May 9 attacks case

Shah Mehmood, Asad Umar’s bail pleas dismissed

By Khalid Iqbal & Mumtaz Alvi & Numan Wahab
June 21, 2023
Security personnel use bullet proof shields to protect former prime minister Imran Khan (C) as he arrives at the high court in Islamabad on March 27, 2023. — AFP/File
Security personnel use bullet proof shields to protect former prime minister Imran Khan (C) as he arrives at the high court in Islamabad on March 27, 2023. — AFP/File

LAHORE/ ISLAMABAD: An anti-terrorism court on Tuesday issued non-bailable warrants for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan in two cases registered at different police stations following the events of May 9.

The court also issued non-bailable warrants for other PTI leaders, including Musarrat Jamshed Cheema, Jamshed Iqbal, Hammad Azhar, Mian Aslam Iqbal, Murad Saeed, Ihsan Ullah Niazi and others in the same cases.

The warrants were issued at the request of Naseerabad and Model Town police. The cases against the accused were filed at Naseerabad and Model Town police stations in Lahore for their alleged involvement in torching a container and attacking the PMLN office in the provincial capital.

The investigating officers informed the court that despite repeated notices, the accused had failed to cooperate with the investigation. The court granted permission to arrest the accused.

In another development, Additional District and Sessions Judge Tahir Abbas Sipra has rejected the bail applications of PTI leaders Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Asad Umar and Asad Qaiser in a case related to the May 9 violence. The court issued a three-page detailed judgment explaining the dismissal of the bail applications of Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Asad Umar, declaring that the attack on sensitive buildings was pre-planned.

The court said in its judgment that Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Asad Umar had encouraged their followers to attack sensitive buildings through their tweets, and they failed to control the situation at that time. Instead of curbing vandalism, the senior PTI leaders exacerbated the situation, the court said.

Qureshi and Umar hastily left the courtroom and drove away in a vehicle parked outside. PTI’s Asad Qaiser also fled the scene and was not present during the announcement of judgment.

A case has been registered against the trio at the Tarnol Police Station. Their absconding may complicate the legal proceedings.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan has formally decided to indict PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Asad Umar, and Fawad Chaudhry, and summoned them to appear in person on July 11.

The announcement was made by a four-member commission bench led by ECP member from Sindh Nisar Ahmd Durrani following a reserved verdict on PTI’s objections to the show-cause notice.

The commission has chosen to frame charges against Imran Khan, Asad Umar, and Fawad Chaudhry. They have been called to appear before the commission on July 11. During the proceedings on Tuesday, Faisal Chaudhry appeared on their behalf and said that they had not received the order from the previous hearing.

The ECP member from Sindh said that the parties concerned had not appeared before the forum, even during the current hearing, despite being served with notices and multiple hearings conducted. He then announced the decision, asserting that the commission had the authority to initiate contempt of court proceedings.