PTI’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi gets interim bail in 2014 dharna violence cases

ISLAMABAD: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) approved the interim bail of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi in cases related to violence during a sit-in the capital in 2014.

Qureshi, who appeared in the court for the first time after absconding for about two years, was ordered to pay a surety bond worth Rs100,000.
The court is hearing four cases pertaining to violence, including destroying property in the Red Zone, attacking the state TV channel’s building and injuring then-SSP Operations Asmatullah Junejo during the 2014 protest.
Both Qureshi and PTI chairman Imran Khan are named in all four cases. Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) leader Tahirul Qadri and workers of both parties are also named in the cases. Qadri has also been absconding in the cases.
On Tuesday, the Secretariat police submitted an interim charge-sheet before the ATC, which named Imran as a suspect and included a list of 14 witnesses against the party chief.
Bails of PTI leaders Shireen Mazari, Arif Alvi and Asad Umar were approved on January 17 after they appeared for the first time in the court in the case after absconding for two years.
Imran Khan’s bail was extended in the four cases on January 2.
In August 2014, violence broke out in the federal capital when PTI and PAT supporters attempted to break a police cordon and storm the PM House, using cranes to remove barricades.
The clashes between police and protesters resulted in the deaths of three people and injuries to over 560. Of the injured, 77 were security officials deployed in the Red Zone, including SSP Junejo.
The decision to march to the PM House was taken after talks between the government, PTI and PAT had failed to end the deadlock over the resignation of the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
The two parties were protesting ‘rigging’ in the 2013 general elections.