ISLAMABAD – An anti-terrorism court granted Prime Minister Imran Khan, permanent exemption from appearance in cases related to attacks on Pakistan Television (PTV) and Parliament House in 2014, on Tuesday.

Besides the premier, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Jehangir Tareen and other party leaders’ requests for exemption were also accepted by the ATC Judge Syed Kausar Abbas Zaidi who had summoned all accused in the cases today.

During today’s hearing, PM Imran’s counsel, Babar Awan, appeared on his behalf and submitted a request for the premier’s permanent exemption from hearings.

“If there is more than accused in a case then the suspects can be exempted from appearing,” Awan argued in the court.

Upon this, the prosecutor remarked that they had no reservations in granting Imran Khan exemption from appearance.

Babar Awan then submitted an affidavit on the premier’s behalf and expressed that he will appear before the court in place of him.

On Friday, PM Imran directed his legal team to file acquittal pleas in the cases registered against party leaders under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) during the 2014 sit-ins.

The incumbent prime minister and other party leaders, including President-elect Dr Arif Alvi, Umar and Qureshi, are accused of attacking the Parliament and PTV office during the 2014 sit-in in Islamabad staged against electoral rigging.