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Court issues non-bailable arrest warrant for Shahbaz Gill

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ISLAMABAD: A local court Tuesday issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Dr Shahbaz Gill pertaining to a sedition case.

Gill, who is residing in the United States at present, has been being accused of sedition after allegedly encouraging rebellion within the Pakistan Army with his comments during a private television program.

Gill, in August last year, faced charges of sedition and illegal arms possession. The charges also led to his arrest after which he was kept in custody in a month-long detention. The politician was, however, granted bail by the Islamabad High Court, which imposed restrictions preventing his re-arrest by the authorities.

In March, the former special assistant to the prime minister flew to the US after his name was removed from the Exit Control List (ECL) as per the orders of the Lahore High Court (LHC).

He was allowed to travel abroad for one month but he later filed a new plea seeking an extension in his stay in the US.

Today, Gill’s lawyer, Murtaza Toori, appeared before the trial court for a plea seeking the PTI leader’s exemption from the hearing.

Toori filed a request to become a party in the case, before the additional sessions judge, Tahir Abbas Supra, who was presiding over the hearing.

At the outset of the hearing, the prosecution represented by Prosecutor General Raja Rizwan Abbasi’s junior lawyer moved the court to cancel Gill’s bail.

The defence lawyer maintained that the duty magistrate had ordered that a relevant judge will announce the verdict on the plea for Gill’s exemption from the hearing.

At this, the prosecution contended that the duty judge had ordered to announce the verdict today.

Later, the court cancelled Gill’s bail and issued a non-bailable arrest of Gill while announcing a reserved verdict.

The development comes days after the former federal minister registered himself as PTI’s “foreign agent” in the United States.

Gill registered himself as the party’s foreign agent under the US Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) and was issued a registration number by the US Department of Justice.

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