An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Lahore approved on Friday interim bails of some of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders, including Shafqat Mehmood and Yasmin Rashid, after it had issued arrest warrants against them for allegedly damaging property and attacking law enforcement agencies during the party's long march last month.

Earlier, warrants were issued by Judge Abher Gul Khan following a request from Shahdara Police Station.

However, later all the PTI leaders named in the cases applied for interim bails. The ATC accepted their bails and stopped the police from arresting them till June 17.

During the party's long march on Islamabad last month, police and PTI protesters clashed, resulting in the law enforcers resorting to tear gas shelling in an attempt to clear roads for traffic. The government had also authorised the deployment of Pakistan Army in the Red Zone in Islamabad for protection of important buildings.

Following the demonstration, police from across Pakistan had registered dozens of cases against PTI leaders and workers for violations of Section 144.

Arrest warrants have also been issued for Mian Aslam Iqbal, Muhammad Zubair Khan Niazi, Mian Akram Usman, Imtiaz Mehmood Sheikh, Mian Mehmood ur Rasheed, Malik Nadeem Abbas, Murad Raas, Yasir Gilani, Hammad Azhar, Andleeb Abbas, and Ijaz Chaudhry.

Former federal education minister Shafqat Mehmood, who recently resigned as the party's Punjab chief, as well as Yasmin Rashid and Hammad Azhar were among the party members who lead the long march from different points in the country.

During the march, Yasmin's car was stopped by law enforcement personnel who also attacked the vehicle and attempted to detain her.

Last month, Mahmood had said the long march saw the worst example of police brutality.

"This fascist government is not allowing anyone to exercise their political right and Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah will be held accountable for brutality,” he had said.

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Rooh Ullah Jun 10, 2022 01:28pm
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