An Islamabad anti-terrorism court (ATC) has acquitted President Arif Alvi and several Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders, including Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Defence Minister Pervez Khattak of their involvement in the 2014 Parliament House attack during the party’s protests against the then Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) government.
Also acquitted today were Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Labour and Culture Minister Shaukat Ali Yousafzai, Senator Ejaz Ahmed Chaudhry and estranged members Jahangir Tareen and Aleem Khan, among others.
Prime Minister Imran Khan was acquitted in the same case in October 2020.
Earlier this month, President Alvi had appeared before the ATC and waived his right to constitutional immunity, telling the court “I appeared before the court today as a common citizen and not as the president of Pakistan.”
Senior leaders of the PTI had been indicted on charges of inciting violence during a protest in August 2014. Member of the PTI and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) had marched towards the Parliament House and clashed with police. The protestors also managed to overrun a nearby Pakistan Television (PTV) news station, forcing the channel to briefly go off air.
The prosecution added that three people were killed, 26 injured and 60 more arrested, arguing that the protest had been anything but peaceful. They had submitted 65 pieces of evidence including photographs, sticks and cutters, to the court.