ISLAMABAD - Special Anti-Terrorism Court Islamabad on Monday declared Tehreek-e-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi an ‘absconder’.

ATC judge Shahrukh Arjumand conducted hearing of the case and declared Rizvi an absconder due to his continuous non-appearance before the court despite being summoned repeatedly.

On November 6, 2017, workers of the TLYR and activists of other religious groups staged a sit-in at the Faizabad Interchange in Islamabad against the amendments in the declarations for elected representatives, virtually paralysing the twin cities for more than two weeks.

Police and Frontier Constabulary (FC) personnel launched an operation against the protesters after the high court ordered clearance of the bridge that connects the federal capital with Rawalpindi.

Later, the TLYR workers left after reaching an agreement with the government.

During the proceedings, the court, while declaring Rizvi, along with other leaders including Maulana Afzal Qadri, Maulana Inayat and Sheikh Izhar as absconders, warned that if the accused were not produced in court within the next 30 days, they would be declared proclaimed offenders.

The prosecutor also stated that all four accused had cases registered against them but they failed to appear before the court. The court directed police to submit challan on the next hearing, which was fixed for March 19.

Meanwhile, the ATC acquitted Sibtain Kazmi, who was a suspect in assassination of the MNA Maulana Azam Tariq in 2003.

Kazmi was arrested in 2017 at the Islamabad airport, while he was attempting to board a UK-bound flight.  He was wanted for the murder of Azam Tariq and the government had announced Rs1 million for Kazmi’s arrest.

Azam Tariq was killed at the Kashmir Highway of Islamabad in October 2003 on his return from Jhang.

He was then a member of the National Assembly.