An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Tuesday approved the applications filed by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Khan Tareen, and Defence Minister Pervez Khattak for exemption from their appearance sought in the Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) and Parliament attack case.
In a hearing presided by ATC Judge Syed Jawad Hassan Abbas, the requests of Qureshi, Tareen, and Khattak, as well as PTI leader and former finance minister Asad Umar, education and professional training minister Shafqat Mehmood, and former close aide of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Saifullah Niazi, were heard.
The ATC, in this regard, approved the applications and granted the six leaders exemption from appearance. The hearing was consequently adjourned till September 10.
It is noteworthy that leaders of the PTI and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) had staged a months-long sit-in in August 2014 to protest the alleged rigging in the 2013 general elections, wherein both parties’ workers had overcome police barries in an attempt to enter the Prime Minister House. The gate to the Parliament House was damaged in the process as well.
In these cases, Prime Minister Imran Khan had already successfully obtained a permanent exemption from having to make appearances in the court.