Atta Tarar granted 14-day protective bail in Punjab Assembly attack case

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday granted protective bail to Special Assistant to the prime minister (SAPM) Atta Tarar for 14 days in the Punjab Assembly attack case registered by Chief Minister Parvez Elahi over hooliganism during the April 16 election.

The orders were passed by acting IHC Chief Justice Justice Aamer Farooq on a petition filed by Tarar earlier in the day.

Last week, the Punjab police had paid a visit to the PML-N leader’s house in Lahore in the wee hours of the morning and delivered a notice ordering him to appear before the authorities for investigation.

The police had said that no one was arrested or detained as Tarar was not at his residence. Notices were also served to PML-N leaders Rana Mashhood and Malik Ahmed Awan.

In his petition submitted at the IHC today, a copy of which is available with, Tarar said that the case registered against him was “wholly false, frivolous and the same has got registered with malafide and ulterior motives”.

“The petitioner has the right to approach the concerned court as his liberty is at stake and without getting any protection, he will not only be arrested, but shall also be humiliated by the local police.”

Tarar argued that Article 10-A of the Constitution gave every citizen the right to fair trial and defend their case, alleging that the police in Lahore was not allowing him to approach the court.

The petition then went on to pray that the PML-N leader be granted protective bail so that he could reach out to the court in Lahore, which was accepted by the IHC.

In a tweet after the hearing, Tarar took to Twitter and said that the cases being made against him were based on “prejudice and political vendetta”.

“Where corruption, street crimes, gender crimes are on the rise, the entire Ministry of Interior [of Punjab] is busy threatening political opponents. I will take the legal route,” he added.

Meanwhile, a Dawn report today said that in the current scenario, it appeared that the PML-N’s main Punjab leaders may not dare enter the province for fear of arrest as were some leaders of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf exercising caution against visiting Islamabad after Shahbaz Gill’s arrest in Banigala.

After it came to power in the province, the PTI leadership declared unlawful, the police action against its party leaders and protesters during the May 25 long march on Islamabad, allegedly unleashed by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Hamza, who was the chief minister then.

Talking to media recently, PTI leaders Fawad Chaudhry and focal person Azhar Mashwani had claimed that action against Tarar had been initiated in connection with the torture of party workers on May 25. “Tarar should come out of hiding to clarify his position,” Chaudhry remarked.