ATC issues non-bailable arrest warrant for PTI chairman

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LAHORE, JUN 20: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Lahore on Tuesday issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and other party leaders.

The non-bailable arrest warrants were also issued for PTI leaders Hammad Azhar, Mian Aslam Iqbal and others.

The court issued a non-bailable arrest warrant at the request of the investigating officer.

The cases against the accused were registered in the Naseerabad and Model Town police stations of Lahore for torching the container and attacking Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) office in the provincial capital.

Dozens of cases ranging from terrorism to corruption have been registered against the deposed prime minister since being ousted from power via a no-trust motion in April last year.

Other party leaders including the party chief were also booked under terrorism charges following riots sparked by the arrest of the former PM in the Al-Qadir Trust case on May 9.

During the nearly three-day-long violent protests, PTI supporters allegedly attacked and torched state installations, leaving at least eight dead and dozens others injured.

Following the violent protests, several PTI leaders and founding members including Shireen Mazari, Fawad Chaudhry, Imran Ismail, Ali Zaidi, Aamir Mehmood Kiani and others parted their ways with the party while many blaming the party chief’s policies for the violence.

Hundreds of PTI leaders and workers were also arrested after the authorities launched a crackdown to detain the suspects involved in the vandalism.

The National Security Committee (NSC) comprising top civil and military leadership of the country had also expressed the resolve to show a policy of zero tolerance to acts of violence by miscreants on May 9 and endorsed the decision to hold the trial of those involved in attacking sensitive installations and state buildings under the Army Act, Official Secrets Act and other concerned laws under the Constitution.

The NSC meeting endorsed the decision that all the abettors, planners, facilitators and those directly involved in acts of arson, attacks on military installations and public buildings should be tried under the Army Act, Official Secret Act and other laws as the country’s Constitution.