Friday Jun 17, 2022
LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Lahore on Friday further extended the interim bail pleas of 13 PTI leaders, including former federal ministers Hammad Azhar, Shafqat Mahmood and Yasmin Rashid in a case pertaining to the alleged vandalism and damage of property during the party's May 25 long march.
The ATC had granted interim bails to the politicians soon after issuing non-bailable arrest warrants for them last Friday (June 10).
At the outset of the hearing, Azhar, Yasmin and Aslam Iqbal appeared before the court while a plea seeking exemption from the court was presented for former education minister Shafqat Mahmood.
The counsel representing PTI leaders said that Mahmood couldn't appear before the court due to a surgical operation he underwent today. He further stated that the police are not informing the defendants about the charges they are facing.
Meanwhile, the police told the court that some of the accused leaders have joined the investigations while some have not.
Accepting the requests for extension, the ATC granted extension in the interim bails of PTI leaders till June 28.
Speaking to the media outside ATC, Yasmin said that it is first time in history that politicians are standing outside an anti-terrorism court with a label of terrorists over a political affair.
She called out Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, saying that “we are mothers and sisters but we are enough [to deal with] you."
“Just come out once and we’ll tell you. The tyranny you have adopted against the women, children and elderly […] we will not forgive you ever,” Yasmin said.
She said Sanaullah should forget about it if he thinks he can terrify PTI leaders by building terrorism cases against them because "we weren't born on a day to fear."
The federal capital and parts of Pakistan saw a day packed with political drama and violence on May 25 as the PTI chairman Imran Khan gave a call to his workers and supporters to march towards Islamabad but the roads turned into battlegrounds amid government's efforts to stop the march.
Later, multiple PTI leaders including Chairman Imran Khan, Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, General-Secretary Asad Umar, Imran Ismail and others were booked for "rioting" during the long march. However, the Imran Khan, Asad Umar and some other leaders acquired bails in these cases.