Imran Khan, others acquitted in two long march vandalism cases

Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Sheikh Rashid, Asad Umar, Shireen Mazari and Zartaj also among those acquitted

By
Arfa Feroz Zake
Security officers escort Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan, as he appeared in Islamabad High Court, Islamabad, Pakistan May 12, 2023. — Reuters
  • Cases were registered in Kohsar, Karachi Company police stations.
  • Verdicts issued by judicial magistrates Shahzad Khan, Mureed Abbas.
  • "No evidence of vandalism" found against Khan, his lawyer says.

ISLAMABAD: A district and sessions court Monday acquitted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan and other leaders of his party in two long march vandalism cases.

Other leaders of the party who were acquitted included Zartaj Gul, Ali Nawaz Awan, Faisal Javed, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Qasim Suri, Raja Khurram Nawaz, Shireen Mazari, Saifullah Niazi, Asad Umar and Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmad.

The cases against Khan and other politicians were registered in the Kohsar and Karachi Company police stations for violation of Section 144.

The court's verdict came during the hearing of acquittal pleas filed by the PTI founder and other politicos. 

The verdict on the acquittal of Khan, Qureshi, Rashid, Awan, Suri, Nawaz was issued by Judicial Magistrate Shahzad Khan for case registered at Kohsar police station.

Meanwhile, Judicial Magistrate Mureed Abbas announced the reserved decision on the acquittal plea of Khan, Qureshi, Mazari, Niazi, Umar, Gul, Awan, Javed and Nawaz against the case filed in the Karachi Company police station.

The court had earlier reserved its verdict in the long march vandalism case.

Khan's lawyer Naeem Panjotha, speaking with journalists in the federal capital, said that the cases against PTI founder were based on political vengeance.

"No evidence of vandalism found against PTI founder during the long march," he said, adding that the Islamabad administration did not issue any notification to enforce Section 144 in the capital city.

Various cases of the same nature have been registered against the PTI founder and he has been acquitted in several cases pertaining to the long march, the counsel added.

He also noted that other political leaders were also acquitted in the vandalism cases.

The development comes days after a district and sessions court, on May 15, acquitted Khan in two cases pertaining to the May 9 vandalism.

Khan, who remains behind bars in Adiala jail, and several others including some PTI leaders are facing various allegations in the cases related to the violence following his arrest on May 9.

Islamabad High Court (IHC), on May 16, had also approved PTI founder's bail petition in the £190 million National Crime Agency (NCA) settlement reference.