September 20, 2023
By Maryam Missal
On Tuesday, September 19, PTI’s Charsadda tehsil president Waheed Bacha along with 60 party members were arrested. Meanwhile, an anti-terrorism court in Lahore extended the interim bail of Asad Umar, Imran Khan’s sisters, and other suspects till October 4 for their involvement in the May 9 violent incidents.
Last month, a Lahore ATC granted authorities the permission to re-interrogate several PTI leaders and activists in connection with the May 9 riots, incorporating new charges of mutiny and waging war against the state in the FIRs.
Bail Status of Key Figures
On September 2, a Lahore ATC further extended the pre-arrest bail of Asad Umar, Aleema Khan, and Uzma Khan until Tuesday (September 19) in various cases related to the May 9 incidents.
While the bail extension came with a directive for Khan’s sisters to cooperate in the investigation, the court was informed by the investigating officer that Umar had been exonerated in five out of the seven cases against him. His bail in the remaining two cases was also extended until today.
Consequently, the ATC has now extended the interim bail until October 4 and has called for further arguments from respective lawyers at the upcoming hearing.
On the other hand, in the same case, i.e May 9 riots, Charsadda tehsil president of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Waheed Bacha, along with 60 other party members and leaders, were apprehended on Tuesday, following the cancellation of their pre-arrest bails by a sessions court. The government had filed FIRs against Abid Khan, a former provincial assembly candidate, and party activists including Nasir Khan Sarki, Suliman Khan, Zubair Ali Shah, Shakir Khan, Gul Nawaz, and others.
They were accused of causing damage to the Charsadda Motorway toll plaza on May 9, following the arrest of their party leader, Imran Khan. Subsequently, the sessions court rescinded their bail-before-arrest status and remanded them to custody on September 19.
On September 15, Rubina Jamil, a former PTI parliamentarian became the first female leader to be granted bail in the Jinnah House attack case.
Following her arrest, ATC issued a formal order endorsing her bail. Judge Ejaz Buttar granted MNA Rubina Jamil bail on medical grounds.
However, her release from jail was delayed, as additional sections were added to the FIR by the police, requiring separate bail arrangements under those provisions. In addition to the Jinnah House attack case, two other cases were registered against the former MNA.
On September 14, Yasmin Rashid, a senior leader of PTI, was placed in jail on a 14-day judicial remand ATC in Lahore on Thursday. ATC also approved Rashid’s request for medical treatment and instructed the prison authorities to take her to the hospital for cancer tests.
Rashid was presented before ATC Judge Abhar Gul Khan following the expiration of her previous five-day physical remand from September 9 to September 14.
In August, new charges were added to all FIRs related to the May 9 incidents, including sections 121 (waging or attempting to wage war against Pakistan), 131 (abetting mutiny or attempting to seduce a soldier, sailor or airman from his duty), and 146 (rioting) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
Legal Representation and Upcoming Hearings
Barrister Khadijah Siddiqui, representing Tayyaba Raja and Samiya Shafi from the May 9 incidents, informed Voicepk.net that new charges were recently appended to the FIRs in the Lahore High Court’s proceedings for PTI women. This led to their referral to ATC.
Khadijah denounced this move as unprecedented and unlawful, asserting that it created a hostile environment for Yasmin Rashid and other female PTI members.
The next bail hearing for Yasmin Rashid and the PTI women is set for September 23 in ATC Lahore.