PTI protests as ATC dismisses Omar Ayub's bail plea over no-show in court

PTI secretary-general’s lawyer says police stopped NA opposition leader from appearing before court

Malik Asghar
Waqar Satti
PTI Secretary-General Omar Ayub (centre left) standing outside court premises in Sargodha, on June 10, 2024. — X/@OmarAyubKhan
  • Lawyer says police stopped Ayub from appearing before court.
  • Which door will we knock on for justice? asks Babar Awan.
  • Ayub and other PTI leaders are nominated in May 9 riots case.

ISLAMABAD/SARGODHA: A special anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Sargodha Monday dismissed PTI Secretary-General Omar Ayub’s bail petition over non-appearance as police personnel stopped him from presenting himself before the judge, his lawyer said, prompting a strong protest from the party.

Ayub had arrived earlier today at the court premises to appear before the court; however, he could not ensure his attendance due to the law enforcers, his lawyer told reporters, which led to his bail plea’s dismissal in the May 9 and 10 riots case.

Several politicos, including Ayub, Amjad Khan Niazi, and Malik Ehsan Ullah Tiwana, have been nominated in the case. With several leaders set to appear, authorities had deployed additional police personnel near the compound.

As he was being stopped, Ayub told reporters that the police personnel were not allowing him to appear before the court on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s “instructions”. 

“They have taken the special court’s judge hostage,” alleged Ayub, who is the opposition leader in the National Assembly.

“Under the guise of security, the police have stopped me from presenting myself before the judge. But I will not leave before marking my attendance,” he had said but failed to do so.

For his part, the PTI leader and lawyer Babar Awan, who was also present there, said the government should “punish others to the extent that they can bear themselves”, while also alleging that a few people were playing with the country’s security.

He said that his clients were not being allowed to appear before the court. “Chief Justice of Pakistan [Qazi Faez Isa] should take notice. Which door will we knock on for justice?”

In response, PTI MNA Asad Qaiser said on the floor of the National Assembly that the opposition leader was not allowed to appear before the court today, asking the treasury benches under which law he was stopped. “We condemn this and we’re staging a walkout.”

In the Punjab Assembly, Hafiz Farhat Abbas said that Ayub and other PTI leaders were not allowed to appear before the court. He asked the speaker to summon Punjab’s top cop in this regard.