Monday Oct 01, 2018
ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi and federal minister Shafqat Mahmood on Monday filed acquittal petitions in cases related to attacks on Pakistan Television (PTV) and Parliament House in 2014.
As an anti-terrorism court began hearing the cases today, twelve accused in the case filed pleas of exemption from appearing before the court.
Among those who filed exemption pleas are Finance Minister Asad Umar and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
PM Imran's legal counsel, Babar Awan, also appeared before the court to present his arguments for an acquittal petition filed earlier on behalf of his client in the two cases.
However, the prosecutor was absent. Commenting on the prosecutor's absence, Awan said: "Times have changed. In the past, prosecutors were present before we appeared in court."
Issuing notices to the prosecution for further discussion on President Alvi, PM Imran, and Mahmood's acquittal pleas, the court adjourned hearing of the two cases till October 22.
Last month, the ATC had granted Prime Minister Imran Khan permanent exemption from appearing before it in the two cases.
The anti-terrorism court is hearing two cases – attack on the state television building and Parliament – against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) leaders.
In August 2014, Khan and Tahir-ul-Qadri took to streets in Islamabad against alleged rigging in 2013 general elections and Model Town sit-in. The protest had continued for 104 days.
During the sit-in, the protesters beat up SSP Asmatullah Junejo on Constitution Avenue when they attacked the Pakistan Television (PTV) headquarters and the parts of the Parliament.
The PTI chief had pleaded the court to transfer the cases to civil court, however, the request was rejected on December 11, 2017.