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Arrest warrant against Pakistani leader

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Islamabad :  A non-bailable arrest warrant has been issued for Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) leader Tahir-ul-Qadri and 71 activists of his party, Dawn online reported Saturday.

Pakistan’s anti-terrorism Judge Ittefaq Abbasi Friday announced the order and asked Qadri and the activists to appear in court Sep 5.

The court had already issued an arrest warrant for Qadri Aug 22 and Aug 29, but police could not arrest him as he was leading a sit-in in Islamabad.

Qadri and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan Aug 15 began their protests for the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who they accuse of rigging the 2013 general election.

Since then, there has been numerous sit-ins staged in different parts of the country that has disrupted daily life due to blockades and heavy traffic.

The police has said that the 71 PAT activists were involved in attacking police and injuring more than 76 officials during their Aug 8 march.

Police has registered a case against them under the Terrorism Act.

The talks between the government and representatives of the PTI and PAT failed to break the political deadlock between the two sides Friday as the army tried to play the role of a facilitator at the behest of the government.

Khan and Qadri Thursday accepted the army chief as a mediator and guarantor in solving the current political impasse.

General Raheel Sharif Friday held separate meetings with both Khan and Qadri who agreed to take steps to resume the dialogue.

However, Nawaz Sharif told the parliament that it was Qadri and Khan who requested a meeting with General Sharif and he gave permission for the army chief to engage the two leaders.

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