ISLAMABAD – Police have arrived in Islamabad, accompanied by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) prominent leader and former federal minister Fawad Chaudhry.
According to reports, Fawad Chaudhry will be brought before the court in F-8 soon, and a large police presence has been deployed to the katchery.
To prevent any unforeseen incidents, the police high command has asked the staff to contact F-8 through wireless call.
In the early hours of Wednesday, authorities arrested the PTI leader at his apartment in Lahore. His detention enraged PTI leaders, notably Hammad Azhar and Farrukh Habib, who threatened to initiate nationwide rallies if Mr Chaudhry’s whereabouts was not revealed, claiming that facts regarding his arrest were not being given.
The former information minister was detained in a complaint lodged by Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Secretary Umer Hameed at the capital city’s Kohsar police station.
According to the FIR, Fawad threatened the Election Commission, its members, and their families in his speech outside Imran Khan’s house in Lahore. Those who join the caretaker administration, according to Fawad, would be pursued until they are punished. He has said that those in government will be pursued to their homes.
Meanwhile, PTI leaders have voiced alarm over Fawad Chaudhry’s detention and have declared that they would file a complaint with the court.
Earlier, in the early hours of Wednesday, hundreds of PTI workers gathered outside PTI head Imran Khan’s house in Zaman Park, Lahore, to safeguard their leader from arrest by the Punjab police.
According to the First Information Report (FIR), the PTI leader has been charged under PPC sections 153A, 506, and 124 A for allegedly threatening the ECP and its members in a televised interview on Tuesday. The FIR contains an extract from the former MNA’s testimony in which he said that the election commission had turned into a “Munshi” since the election commissioner signed documents like a clerk after they were supplied to him by the administration.
Mr Chaudhry said that anyone who would do injustice against the PTI would be pursued till they were punished. He suggested that people follow the elements who were fooling the public to their homes. Expressing worries over the selections of certain employees in the ECP Punjab before of elections, he stated if these appointments were not taken back, “we warn that the electoral commission and its members would have to pay back”.
According to the complaint, Fawad Chaudhry threatened the chief election commissioner, members of the ECP, and their families during his speech, which he portrayed as an effort to obstruct the electoral process.
“The statement has created a permanent danger for ECP members and their families,” he added, adding that the PTI leader has tried to divide the government and the ECP. “It is a severe crime to influence the election process by threatening constitutional institutions,” he added, adding that such utterances might destabilise the nation.
A Lahore court has granted police permission to relocate Fawad.
Earlier in the day, a Lahore court authorised police to transport PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry to Islamabad, hours after he was detained at his home for making an inflammatory comment against the top electoral body.
The PTI veteran was arrested early Wednesday after being charged under sections 153A, 506 and 124 A of the Pakistan Penal Code in response to a complaint filed by Election Commission of Pakistan Secretary Umer Hameed. Police presented Mr Chaudhry in handcuffs before Rana Muddasir’s court at 10 a.m., seeking one-day transit detention because they intended to transfer him to Islamabad since the complaint was lodged at the Kohsar police station.
In an interview with the media, the PTI leader said that security had been increased because a “terrorist” was being taken to court, and that he was ignorant of the allegations levelled against him. He also encouraged people to protest the administration in the streets. He said that former South African President Nelson Mandela had also been charged with sedition.
During the hearing, the former information minister asked that judge Rana Mudassir supply him with a copy of the FIR filed against him, which was granted. His counsel argued that the transit remand was unnecessary since the travel between Lahore and Islamabad was just four hours. Police should take his client immediately to the federal capital and bring him in court, he added.
The PTI leader further said that he has filed a plea against his unlawful arrest in the Lahore High Court (LHC). He asked the court not to rule on the transit remand plea until the LHC decided the matter.
Following the hearing of the arguments, the court authorised police to transport the PTI leader to Islamabad and submit him before the appropriate venue. It also ordered Mr Chaudhry’s medical assessment. In accordance with the court’s directions, police sent the PTI official to the Services Hospital in Lahore for medical evaluation. Following the medical check, he will be sent to Islamabad.
The arrest of Mr Chaudhry has enraged PTI officials, notably Hammad Azhar and Farrukh Habib, who have threatened to conduct nationwide rallies and take the matter to court.
The LHC summons the IGPs of Punjab and Islamabad.
Later, the Lahore High Court (LHC) summoned the IGPs of Punjab and Islamabad for failing to present senior PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry in court on a petition contesting his overnight detention by Islamabad police.
Fawad Chaudhry’s detention for “threatening” Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) members and their families was challenged in the high court. The petition was later heard by LHC Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh. During the hearing, the judge directed police to have Fawad appear in court by 1:30 p.m.
The judge had previously requested that Mr Chaudhry appear in court at half past one, but police refused to comply without a formal order. As the matter was being heard in court, Justice Sheikh inquired of the law officer about the location of the PTI leader. As the assistant attorney general informed the court that police had already brought the petitioner to Islamabad, the judge voiced his dissatisfaction and noted that “the court understands how to get its orders followed”.
The court ordered police till 6 p.m. to produce Fawad Chaudhry, failing which he threatened legal action.
Fawad’s wife requests help.
Hiba Fawad, the wife of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Fawad Chaudhry, has petitioned Pakistan’s Chief Justice to take suo moto notice of her husband’s overnight imprisonment.
She said her husband was abducted rather than detained since the police squad executed the operation without a warrant.
Hiba said that eight to ten police officers stormed their home, unlocked the gates, and arrested her husband without providing any arrest warrants or other legal documents. She said that the family had no clue where Fawad had been taken.
“Whoever is behind Fawad’s detention – whether it’s the ‘imported government’ or anybody else – they should respond on what legislation he was detained under,” she added.
“We were not notified. Four police trucks arrived and grabbed Fawad and his cellphone. “We have no idea where he has been taken,” she said.
Hiba Fawad said that they had called the relevant police stations in Punjab, but there had been no information on her husband. She urged the CJP and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to tell the family of Fawad’s condition and where he had been taken, or a FIR for abduction will be filed.
The banana republic
PTI leader and former Prime Minister Imran Khan has criticised the arrest of party heavyweight Fawad Chaudhry for allegedly threatening key election officials.
“Fawad’s detention on his accurate description of the CEC [chief election commissioner] leaves no question in anyone’s mind that Pak[istan] has become a banana republic bereft of rule of law,” the former prime minister stated in a tweet.
The PTI president also encouraged people to fight for their basic rights now, before the nation reaches a tipping point. He also planned a news conference for today at 4 p.m. (Wednesday). “We must now speak up for our basic rights in order to preserve Pakistan from a point of no return,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, Mr Khan called Fawad Chaudhry’s wife, Hiba Chaudhry, to show his support. He further referred to the arrest of the PTI official as a “foolish conduct” by the police.
Farrukh Habib attempts to obstruct a police car.
Farrukh Habib, leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), clashed with a police officer in an attempt to prevent the transport of Fawad Chaudhry, who was detained for threatening poll officials, to Islamabad.
Mr Habib is seen on video attempting to stop the motorcade of security officers at a toll booth on the Lahore-Islamabad highway. He is seen standing in front of the police car, beating on the bonnet. At one time, Elite Force members emerged from their trucks and removed Farrukh Habib from the van in order to restart the journey to Islamabad.
Following his medical assessment at the Services Hospital in Lahore, police authorities are transporting Fawad Chaudhry to the federal capital. Despite an order to present him before the Lahore High Court, the former minister is being brought to Islamabad (LHC). Earlier in the day, Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh of the LHC issued an order summoning Fawad Chaudhry to appear in court while hearing a plea challenging his detention.
After the police refused to comply with the court instructions, Justice Sheikh summoned the IGPs of Punjab and Islamabad later today and ordered that Fawad Chaudhry appear in court even if he was in Islamabad.
The ECP has decided to send another notice.
The Pakistan Election Commission has decided to give yet another notice to imprisoned prominent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Fawad Chaudhry.
According to sources, the election authority issued the notice after the PTI leader’s recent contentious statement. Mr Chaudhry warned that if PTI leaders were consistently attacked, ECP members and even their families will suffer the consequences.
According to the ECP, the PTI’s stalwart is also named in the defamation complaint filed against the electoral body and its president.