Islamabad, Sep 14: The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) of Pakistan has started preparations to declare at least 16 leaders and workers of the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) as proclaimed offenders in two cases related to May 9 riots and publish their names in local newspapers across the country.
Khan is currently in Attock jail on judicial remand, which was extended till September 26 during a special court hearing in the prison premises.
On the other hand, PTI co-chair and former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s bail has also been extended till September 26 by the special court which is hearing the cipher case against both him and Khan.
Legal challenges continue to overpower the former Prime Minister and his political party members, many of which have already parted ways, while others have gone into hiding amid fears of arrest, which they term as an agenda of the government and the country's military establishment.
According to the ATC, some of the 16 PTI leaders include Aslam Iqbal, Farrukh Habib and Zubair Niazi.
They were allegedly involved in instigating and leading violent mob to carry out targeted attacks on military installations, looting and vandalizing state properties in the country on May 9, in protest against Khan's arrest from outside the Islamabad High Court earlier that day.
The ATC has directed the prosecution to publish a proclamation in the newspapers for the appearance of the suspects.
The government and law enforcement agencies are still on the lookout for all those involved in the May 9 riots.
In the latest, Colonel (retd) Ajmal Sabir was arrested from Rawalpindi for his alleged involvement in the violence and vandalism.
The road ahead seems to be getting tougher for the PTI chief and his party as he faces a long list of cases against him with serious charges framed from corruption to sedition.
At the moment, the PTI has claimed that thousands of its workers including, female leaders, have been kept behind bars for months, calling on global entities to raise the concerns over what they allege as mistreatment and false allegations against its workers.
PTI claims that the cases framed against Khan and the party are politically driven and are part of a broader intent to dismantle the party’s existence in the country’s politics.
On the other hand, caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar has stated that all those involved in the 9 May riots, its facilitators, planners and its masterminds, would have to go through the process of law and be held accountable for their actions.