Pak anti-terrorism court acquits PM Khan in 2014 Parliament attack case
Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was aquitted by an anti-terrorism court on Thursday in the 2014 Parliament attack case but other senior ministers, including Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, were summoned on November 12 for the indictment.
Anti-Terrorism Court Judge Raja Jawad Abbas Hassan, however, halted proceedings against President Arif Alvi due to the presidential immunity granted to him, The Express Tribune reported.
On August 31, 2014, workers of the now ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) tried to enter Parliament and go towards the Prime Minister’s House and clashed with police.
Police had invoked sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act against Khan and other PTI leaders, according to a report in the Dawn newspaper.
The incident had happened during the sit-ins by PTI and PAT workers in front of the Parliament.
The Dawn reported that the prosecution, as per their earlier stance, had claimed that three people were killed and 26 injured in the incident.
Prime Minister Khan’s acquittal comes after he this week urged the court to acquit him as the prosecution was no longer interested in pursuing the case.
State lawyer Abdullah Babar Awan, son of Adviser to the prime minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan, told the court that prosecution was in favour of the acquittal of Khan.
“The learned prosecutor appearing for the other side is heard and the learned prosecutor candidly conceded that in this false case the charge against the petitioner is groundless and there is no probability of the conviction and therefore, the learned prosecutor agreed that this is a fit case for acquittal,” the prosecution lawyer who was appointed by the sitting government said in the written application.
“The applicant is maliciously implicated and dragged in this false case. Further proceedings shall cause harassment and political victimisation. Particularly, after the prosecution stands in favour of the acquittal of the applicant,” it said.
According to the counsel, not a single witness of the prosecution had linked the prime minister with the offence, adding that there was no direct or indirect evidence available on record against the prime minister, According to a report in the Dawn newspaper, according to a report in the Dawn newspaper.
Prosecution lawyers are appointed by the government and take instructions from it. The then prosecution team under the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had fought the Parliament attack case but with a new team under the PTI government, the situation has changed, the Dawn report noted.
Judge Hassan summoned Foreign Minister Qureshi, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood and Planning Minister Asad Umar at the next hearing on November 12 for indictment.
Provincial ministers Aleem Khan and Shaukat Yousafzai as well as PTI’s former secretary general Jahangir Tareen have also been summoned at the next hearing, the report said.
Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) worker Mubashir Ali has been acquitted in the case.
Canada-based PAT chairman Tahirul Qadri has been declared a fugitive in the case.
Earlier, the court had granted permanent exemption to the prime minister from appearance in the case.