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PTI’s Shehryar Afridi and Shandana Gulzar set free after IHC suspends MPO orders

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  • Afridi was first arrested from his Islamabad residence on May 16.
  • Gulzar was allegedly “picked up” by Islamabad police on Aug 9.
  • Court also orders contempt of court proceedings DC Islamabad.

The detention orders against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) politicians, Shehryar Afridi and Shandana Gulzar, were Wednesday suspended with the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordering their immediate release.

The two PTI leaders were held in custody by the Islamabad Police under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance, which was slashed by the court during the hearing of pleas filed seeking Afridi and Gulzar’s release.

Both politicians were held by law enforcement for their alleged involvement in the May 9 riots, which were triggered after the arrest of PTI chief Imran Khan earlier this year.

Afridi was first arrested from his Islamabad residence under Section 3 of the MPO Ordinance, 1960, on May 16. Despite a release order, he was immediately rearrested under the same section on May 30.

The PTI politician was then granted bail by the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench on August 3. But his freedom was short-lived as Rawalpindi police once again took him into custody following his release from Adiala jail.

In response to his arrest, the former minister’s lawyer filed a plea in the IHC, requesting his release as well as the revocation of the MPO order.

Meanwhile, Gulzar was allegedly picked up by Islamabad police on August 9, after which her mother filed a petition in the IHC.

During today’s hearing, IHC’s directives also included contempt of court proceedings against the federal capital’s deputy commissioner.

Justice Babar Sattar of the IHC asked Afridi if he had a house in the capital city, to which the politician replied in affirmative and was allowed to go home. The court also ordered Gulzar’s immediate release but restricted her movement within Islamabad.

If anything happened to Gulzar, the judge said, the Islamabad Inspector General Akbar Nasir Khan and chief commissioner will be responsible.

Afridi, who was in police custody on multiple charges, appeared in the court along with his lawyer Sher Afzal Marwat, carrying a copy of the Holy Quran.

Justice Babar Sattar, during the hearing of the case, summoned Islamabad deputy commissioner to the rostrum and sought details regarding the events of May 9.

According to intelligence reports, the DC said, the politician provoked people. The DC added there are reports of Afridi’s involvement in planning the attack on the district courts in the party’s campaign against the judiciary.

Justice Sattar inquired the DC how Afridi provoked people despite being in jail.

“My eyes and ears are only intelligence reports, the DC said in his response.

When the court inquired from the Station House Officer (SHO) what information he had about Afridi planning the attack, he said someone else was in charge.

The judge asked the same question from the District Police Officer. “I was on leave at the time,” the officer said.

The court then asked the DC if a response to the show cause notice was filed. “Yes, sir. A written reply has been filed,” he responded.

When the IHC judge enquired police officials about the events of May 8 in the federal capital, Islamabad IG said action is taken on the basis of apprehensions before the incident takes place.

“We took these actions to maintain the law and order situation,” he said.

Justice Sattar termed the Special Branch’s report a “joke”, seeking the notification which allowed the arrest of the PTI politician.

Tahir Kazim, the counsel for the Senior Superintendent of Police, told the court that the reasons for quashing the first MPO orders were different.

Responding to his argument, the court said that detention orders were issued after the arrest. Action on threat alerts is based on apprehension, it added.

Justice Sattar also extended the court’s displeasure over Afridi’s repeated arrests in light of the 3MPO order and declared it “void”.

He also termed the response of the SSP operations as unsatisfactory, ordering for him to be charged as well and also ordered contempt of court action against the DC.

In his remarks, Justice Sattar said that the charge will be framed against the Deputy Commissioner Islamabad.

The court later inquired about Afridi’s meetings during his detention in the Adiala jail from the jail superintendent.

The hearing of the case was adjourned for 2 weeks.

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No “major breakthrough” in the opposition-led JUI-F and PTI meeting

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Maulana Fazalur Rehman stated that mending rifts in relationships and getting rid of resentment in an interview with the media in Islamabad with a team from the Tehreek-e-Tahafuz-e-Ayeen-e-Pakistan that paid him a visit.

While no significant progress was made at the meeting, all sides decided to keep in touch in order to plan for the future.

“A positive message,” according to the JUI-F chief, was received with open arms by the delegation. Taking a “united” stance on national issues was the primary goal of the meeting, he said.

Democracy is losing its appeal, and Pakistan’s parliament and constitution are losing their respect. In parliament, Maulana Fazalur Rehman continued, “we should have a single voice.”

Remarking on the event, National Assembly Opposition Leader Omar Ayub thanked the JUI-F leader for ‘warmly’ receiving the group.

We had a fruitful discussion in the meeting, he declared, urging the opposition parties to work with the PTI to “protect” the constitution.

Constitutional violations and a lack of a rule of law are the claims made by Omar Ayub. According to him, there was “no reason” why the police searched the PTI’s Islamabad central secretariat office.

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In the instance of illegal recruitment, Pervaiz Elahi is granted bail.

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The earlier-reserved court ruling was delivered by LHC Judge Sultan Tanveer Ahmad on Tuesday.

LHC had filed a post-arrest bail motion, according to the former chief minister.

On October 25, 2023, Pervaiz was taken into custody by the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE).

From June 1 to September 18, Elahi has been arrested in a number of crimes; the most recent one was reported by the Punjab ACE on September 18.

More: Pervaiz Elahi’s condition “deteriorated” in Adiala jail; he was hurried to PIMS.

In the Punjab Assembly, Elahi illegally hired 12 people for grade 17 positions, according to information provided by an ACE representative.

In the provincial assembly, the candidates were chosen through record-altering.

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The bail petition of Parvez Elahi in the Jinnah House attack case has been rejected by the ATC.

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A bail application filed by Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, a leader of the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) party, in the Jinnah House attack case has been rejected by an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on the grounds of prematurity.

ATC Judge Arshad Javed announced the decision during today’s hearing.

The counsel representing Parvez Elahi contended that there was a significant likelihood of his client being arrested in relation to the Jinnah House attack case. It was stated that the ex-Chief Minister had previously been held in custody on judicial remand in other cases.

The petitioner requested the court to authorise the release of Parvez Elahi on bail in the Jinnah House attack case.

Nevertheless, the prosecution argued that the bail petition did not meet the necessary legal criteria, emphasising that Parvez Elahi had not been apprehended in connection with the case.

Considering these considerations, the court rejected Parvez Elahi’s request for release, stating that it was premature since he had not been arrested in the Jinnah House attack case.

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