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ATC again adjourns Imran, Qureshi bail hearings

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RAWALPINDI: The Special Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Saturday once again adjourned the hearings in connection with 12 bail applications of the former prime minister and founder chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan, former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and former interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed in the May 9 incidents.

Judge Malik Ijaz Asif got enraged and summoned all public prosecutors for arguments at the next hearing as the prosecutors failed to appear before the court “owing to their busy schedules”.

The court postponed the bail hearings of the ex-Prime Minister and Shah Mehmood Qureshi till February 2 and Sheikh Rashid’s bail hearing until February 3.

The former prime minister’s lawyer Advocate Malik Waheed Anjum told the court that the case against his client is politically motivated and [full of] revenge as Imran Khan was in the custody of the state and had no communication at the time of the May 9 incidents. His [the former premier] name was not included in the First Information Report (FIR), but after six months, his name was added to the supplementary challan, Anjum said, adding that all accused, who were arrested in connection with the case, were granted bails.

Rashid’s counsel Advocate Sardar Abdul Raziq pleaded that his client had nothing to do with the events of May 9 and was abroad. The AML chief was not wanted as of October 2023, he said and added that the purpose of Rashid’s listing in the May 9 cases was to prevent him from participating in the election campaign.

Raziq further said his client is already getting public support during the campaign. “As the prosecution also lacks any proof against Rashid in the Hamza Camp case and the former minister has been granted bail in all other similar cases, bail should also be granted in the last case as well,” Rashid’s lawyer pleaded.