President Arif Alvi to forgo immunity prerogative in 2014 PTV attack case

Mar 4, 2022: President Arif Alvi has said he will not avail immunity prerogative given to him under the laws of Pakistan, and will present himself in court like a regular citizen in the 2014 Pakistan Television (PTV) and Parliament House attack case.

He said this while appearing before an anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Friday conducted by ATC judge Muhammad Ali Warraich, Aaj News reported. During the hearing, the president said he wanted to withdraw the exemption because he believed “there should be no difference between two citizens”. Dr. Alvi also appealed to the ATC to expedite all cases to ensure speedy delivery of justice.

Appearing with his counsel Babar Awan on Friday, the president filed an application to decline availing presidential immunity under Article 248 of the Constitution.

In August 2014, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek had staged a sit-in in Islamabad which continued for 104 days. During the demonstration, workers of both the parties had clashed with police. The offices of PTV were attacked during the days of the sit-in.

Consequently, a case was filed against senior PTI leadership including President Arif Alvi. Last month, the ATC had reserved its verdict on petitions of federal ministers Asad Umar, Pervaiz Khattak, Shafqat Mahmood, Shah Mahmood Qureshi and now estranged PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen, seeking acquittal in the 2014 parliament house and PTV attack case.

ATC Judge Muhammad Ali Warraich, after hearing arguments, reserved the verdict and fixed March 9 for the announcement.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was also named in the case, was acquitted by the ATC in October 2020.

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