Islamabad Court Acquits Imran Khan, Qureshi, Others In Azadi March Case

The verdict was announced by Judicial Magistrate Malik Muhammad Imran.

Islamabad Court Acquits Imran Khan, Qureshi, Others In Azadi March Case

In yet another huge relief for the former ruling party, a local court in Islamabad on Thursday acquitted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan, as well as other leaders Sheikh Rashid and Shah Mehmood Qureshi, in the Azadi March case. 

Sadaqat Abbasi and Ali Nawaz Awan were both exonerated of all charges in the decision handed down by Judicial Magistrate Malik Muhammad Imran.

The case was first filed in 2022 at Islamabad's I-9 police station, accusing PTI leaders of breaking Section 144 and engaging in destruction. 

In a similar ruling, the court acquitted PTI leader Shehryar Khan Afridi and several party workers charged with arson and vandalism on May 9. The court's decision represents a dramatic shift in the judicial procedures against PTI members. 

Previously, on May 27, 2022, Islamabad police filed separate complaints against 150 persons, including Imran Khan and other party officials, after claims of arson and destruction in the federal capital the day before. 

The footage from the Safe City cameras, as well as that from private TV news stations, was included in the case challans as evidence. At least 39 people were arrested after being identified in the clip.

Imran initiated a march toward Islamabad to depose the coalition government that took power after he was removed as premier by a vote of no confidence. The protest was part of the PTI's campaign to attain "real freedom" and free the country from the "slavery" of the "US-backed" coalition government. 

Judicial Magistrate Ehtesham Alam heard the case against the PTI leadership, which was charged with damage and violating Section 144. 

PTI leaders Ali Muhammad Khan and Asad Umar appeared in court, while the rest submitted acquittal petitions. The court acquitted the PTI leaders, providing ease to party leaders who were facing several charges.