Non-bailable arrest warrant for Shahbaz Gill issued

ISLAMABAD: An additional sessions and district court in Islamabad issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shahbaz Gill in the sedition case registered against him.

The PTI leader faces multiple cases since making controversial comments about the military establishment on a private TV channel. In August of last year, he was arrested by the federal government on charges of sedition and inciting the public against state institutions.

On March 29 this year, the Lahore High Court (LHC) granted Gill permission to travel to the United States for four weeks. A three-member bench heard his petition seeking removal of his name from the Exit Control List (ECL).

During today’s hearing, judge Tahir Abbas Sipra issued the arrest warrant as he presided over the hearing today. He also rejected Gill’s plea seeking exemption from court appearance as the PTI leader filed a petition to appoint a pleader in his place.

The prosecution further requested for Gill’s surety bonds to be cancelled.

The court adjourned the hearing for a brief period and called for both parties to present their arguments. It also asked the police to submit a report by 11:30 am.

As the hearing resumed, the judge Sipra maintained that the court had asked for assistance regarding the orders passed by the previous duty judge hearing the case. He added that it was unclear in the order whether warrants were issued or not.

The court also asked Gill’s lawyer to confirm when he would return from the US as the LHC had in March permitted the PTI leader to travel to the US for four weeks.

Gill’s counsel requested the court to fix the next hearing in some time since he was unaware of when Gill would return.

The court adjourned further hearing of the case till June 26.

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