ATC orders Marriyum Aurangzeb’s arrest in hate speech case

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LAHORE: An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Monday issued the arrest orders for Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Marriyum Aurangzeb in a hate speech case and directed authorities to produce the former minister in court on December 9.

ATC Judge Abher Gul Khan issued the arrest warrant for the PML-N leader and ordered the station house officer (SHO) concerned to execute the orders of her arrest. 

The non-bailable arrest warrant was issued against the former information minister for not appearing before the court. 

A terrorism case has been registered against Aurangzeb, Mian Javed Latif, state-run Pakistan Television’s Managing Director Sohail Khan and others for allegedly trying to incite hatred by using the religion card against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan.

Latif and Aurangzeb were accused of making controversial remarks at the behest of their party leadership in order to spread religious hatred against the former prime minister.

In the previous hearing, the ATC judge cancelled the non-bailable arrest warrant against Latif after he appeared before the court.

On November 25, Advocate Farhad Ali Shah representing Javed Latif and Marritum Aurangzeb appeared before the court. 

During the hearing, Judge Khan inquired about the whereabouts of the PML-N leaders and was informed that Latif had appeared while Aurangzeb had not.

Consequently, the judge issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for the former information minister and directed all suspects named in the case to appear before the court on December 9.

The issuance of the warrant came after the political leaders’ initial failure to appear in court. The judge set December 9 as the deadline for the prosecution to respond to the former information minister’s application seeking acquittal.

In her plea, Aurangzeb asserted that she played no role in the alleged incitement through her speeches in talk shows. She distanced herself from any claims made against her during these shows emphasising her innocence and requesting acquittal.

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