Friday, June 10, 2022
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'Azadi March': Lahore’s ATC grants interim bail to 13 PTI leaders

Court grants bail to PTI leaders Shafqat Mahmood, Hammad Azhar, Yasmin Rashid and others against surety of Rs100,000 each

Web Desk
(From left to right) Former federal ministers Shafqat Mahmood, Hammad Azhar, Murad Ras and Yasmin Rashid.
(From left to right) Former federal ministers Shafqat Mahmood, Hammad Azhar, Murad Ras and Yasmin Rashid.

LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Lahore on Friday accepted the interim bail pleas of 13 PTI leaders, including former federal ministers Hammad Azhar, Shafqat Mahmood and Yasmin Rashid in a case pertaining to alleged vandalism and damage of property during the party's long march.

The ATC had issued non-bailable arrest warrants of the PTI leaders earlier in the day. The other PTI leaders whose arrest warrants have been issued include Hammad Azhar, Murad Raas Zubair Niazi, Mehmoodur Rasheed, Aijaz Chaudhry, Aslam Iqbal and others.

Later, the PTI leaders whose warrants had been issued reached out to the court for interim bails. Accepting their pleas, the court directed each of the petitioners to submit Rs100,000 as the surety against bails.

Speaking to the media outside the court, former energy minister Hammad Azhar said that the incumbent government is trying to register a case against those who tried to protest peacefully.

He said that Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Maryam Nawaz want to make this country a "police fascist state" so that no one could raise a finger against their lust for power and money.

“A criminal [lady] issues directives from PM House to include sections pertaining to terrorism. I ask where is the law and Constitution?" he said.

The minister warned that the country would become a “police fascist state” if the law and Constitution don’t raise their voice today.

He went on to criticise the government, saying that they ruined the economy of this country.

"The witnesses and investigation officers in the corruption cases against PML-N leader were either murdered or they passed away but it will be decided soon.”

Attention cannot be diverted from all these things by imposing terrorism charges against PTI leaders, he added.

"All these people standing with me are respectable citizens of society. They are not terrorists," he said.

However, those who are sitting in the government are not only terrorists, but economic murderers of this country, he added.

Multiple PTI leaders including Chairman Imran Khan, Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi, General-Secretary Asad Umar, Imran Ismail and others were booked for "rioting" during the party's May 25 long march. However, the Imran Khan, Asad Umar and some other leaders acquired bails in these cases.

Hammad Azhar sustains injuries

Amid the shelling by the police during PTI long march on May 25, former energy minister Hammad Azhar was injured and was provided with basic medical treatment at a rural health clinic.

Taking to his official Twitter handle, the senior PTI leader recorded a video message claiming that the police have now resorted to direct attacks.

Earlier, in order to restrain Lahore’s rally from entering Islamabad, the police tried to arrest Azhar; however, party workers managed to save him.

The PTI leader had confirmed that failed attempts were being made for his arrest. He had also reported that the police have abused the workers and hundreds of shells had been fired.

Police attack Yasmin Rashid’s car

On the same day, the police attacked former health minister Yasmin Rashid’s car, breaking her windscreen in an attempt to stop her from moving forward.

According to footage circulating on social media, the police used batons to stop her; however, the car continued to move ahead despite losing balance.

The police also encircled her car when a PTI supporter came forward and verbally abused the officials. Meanwhile, Yasmin tried stopping the police from taking away her car keys.

Rashid, in a statement, confirmed that the windshield of her vehicle was broken by the police. She said that she faced difficulty in leaving the area.

"This government has lost its senses. I am an 80-year-old woman. Why are they threatening me? How is stopping a peaceful protest democratic?" she had questioned.