ISLAMABAD: An anti-terrorism court in Islamabad on Thursday acquitted Prime Minister Imran Khan in a six-year-old case pertaining to a mob attack on the Parliament House.
Then chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Imran was among the central leadership of the party booked in September 2014 for allegedly attacking the parliament building during the 126-day-long sit-in seeking the ouster of then prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
Announcing his verdict, accountability judge Raja Jawad Abbas Hassan decided to indict Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister for Defence Pervez Khattak, Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood and Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar at the next hearing on November 12.
Provincial ministers Aleem Khan and Shaukat Yousafzai, as well as former PTI secretary general Jahangir Khan Tareen, have also been summoned at the next hearing.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) activist Mubashir Ali was also acquitted in the case while the party’s leader Tahirul Qadri was declared a fugitive.
During the previous hearing, the premier through his counsel, Abdullah Babar Awan, had urged the court to acquit him as the prosecution was no longer interested in pursuing the case. Awan had informed the court the “prosecution stands in favour of [Imran’s] acquittal” and “was not interested to prosecute” him.
“The learned prosecutor appearing for the other side is heard and the learned prosecutor candidly conceded that in this false case the charge against the petitioner is groundless and there is no probability of the conviction and therefore, the learned prosecutor agreed that this is a fit case for acquittal.”
The prime minister, thorough his counsel, had further contested: “The applicant is maliciously implicated and dragged in this false case. Further proceedings shall cause harassment and political victimisation. Particularly, after the prosecution stands in favour of the acquittal of the applicant.”
According to Awan, not a single witness of the prosecution had linked Imran with the offence, adding that there was no direct or indirect evidence available on record against the prime minister.