ATC dismisses Imran Khan's plea to quash terror charges
December 11, 2017
ISLAMABAD: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) dismissed on Monday Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairperson Imran Khan's request to quash the terror charges and send the case to a lower court.
The ATC is hearing four cases against the PTI chief including the attack on the state television building, the Parliament and then SSP Operations Asmatullah Junejo.
As the ATC resumed the hearing, his counsel, Babar Awan, pleaded before ATC Judge Shahrukh Arjumand to remove the terrorism clauses from the charges against his client.
He said protesting for one's rights, with slingshots and sticks, is not terrorism but a democratic right.
However, the state prosecutor said there is solid evidence against the PTI chief of instigating party workers against the state.
The judge then reserved the decision on the case. Announcing its verdict, the ATC dismissed the plea and ordered Imran to appear before it at the next hearing on December 19.
The court also extended Imran's interim bail in the cases until the next hearing.
During today's hearing, PTI chief has also reached the court from his Bani Gala residence to appear before the judge for the fourth time.
Speaking to the media outside the court after his apperance, Imran said it is shameful that the state is lodging terrorism cases against political opponents.
Last month, Imran, through his counsel, had surrendered himself before the ATC, which then approved the PTI chairman's bail for Rs200,000 in each case.
The court had earlier issued non-bailable warrants against him and declared him a proclaimed offender as he had not appeared in any hearing.
The court had also ordered Imran to cooperate with the investigation and get his statement recorded before police. Last Sunday, Imran appeared before the investigation officer and recorded his statement at the Secretariat Police Station.
During the last hearing on Thursday, Imran had appeared before the ATC.
The police informed the judge that Imran has joined the investigation and is no longer an absconder.
Imran's counsel Babar Awan stated in court that they have already challenged the jurisdiction of the ATC in the case, and the court should first decide on the matter before proceeding with the case.
However, the public prosecutor argued that there are solid pieces of evidence against the PTI chief of instigating supporters towards violence, adding that he is in violation of 10 sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
Violence during the 2014 sit-in
Imran and his ally Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri face charges of destroying property in the Red Zone, attacking the state TV channel's building and injuring SSP Junejo during the 2014 protest.
In August 2014, violence broke out in the federal capital when PTI and PAT supporters attempted to break a police cordon and storm the PM House, using cranes to remove barricades.
The clashes between police and protesters resulted in the deaths of three people and injuries to over 560. Of the injured, 77 were security officials deployed in the Red Zone, including SSP Junejo.
The decision to march to the PM House was taken after talks between the government, PTI and PAT had failed to end the deadlock over the resignation of then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
The two parties were protesting 'rigging' in the 2013 General Elections.