Pakistani Court Declares Imran, Qadri Absconders

Sajjad Hussain/ Islamabad
Pakistani Court Declares Imran, Qadri Absconders

Opposition leader Imran Khan and fiery cleric Tahirul Qadri were today declared absconders by a Pakistani anti-terrorism court for their alleged involvement in attacking a senior police officer during anti-government protests at the state-run PTV headquarters.

Judge Syed Kausar Abbas Zaidi declared the duo as absconders for failing to appear before the court.

Anti-terrorism court on Wednesday had issued non-bailable arrest warrants against Khan and Qadri for attacking the state Television building and the Parliament during the anti-government protests.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief Qadri were accused of involvement in an attack on senior police officer SSP Asmatullah Junejo on September 1.

Junejo was badly beaten up by the protesters as they pushed back police and stormed the state Television PTV headquarters and the precincts of the Parliament.

Police had registered a case with the Secretariat police over the incident.

Imran had said he would not seek bail from the ATC, daring the government to arrest him while Qadri, who enjoys dual nationality, has already left for Canada where he lives.

Khan and Qadri have been holding a series of anti-government protest rallies in the country since mid-August to press Sharif to resign besides demanding a thorough judicial probe into alleged rigging in the general election which his party lost. Qadri, however, has ended his protest last month.

The protesters had turned violent after two-week of peaceful sit-in, leading to bloody clashes in which scores of people suffered injuries.

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