Pakistan: Bar Council condemns ‘manhandling’, detention of Punjab former CM Elahi

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LAHORE: The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) condemned the “manhandling” and re-arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) President Parvez Elahi in violation of the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) orders, reported Dawn.

In a statement on Saturday, PBC Vice-Chairman Haroonur Rashid and Executive Committee Chairman Hassan Raza Pasha, “strongly condemned the manhandling and the way” in which Elahi was re-arrested, as well as his confinement under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO).

The LHC on Friday ordered that the former Punjab chief minister be released along with a restraining order against his possible arrest by any agency or preventive detention.

However, hours after he was released from the Adiala Jail, a team of the Islamabad police, assisted by the Punjab police, intercepted his white SUV near the FCC underpass along with lawyer Sardar Latif Khosa, reported Dawn.

The police shifted Elahi into a white car without a license plate which drove him to Islamabad. In the video, which went viral,  men in plain clothes accompanied by uniformed Punjab policemen can be seen dragging Elahi out of his car.

In the statement, the PBC said the re-arrest was made “while disregarding and non-complying” the LHC’s order wherein it had “categorically ordered not to re-arrest him in any case”.

The PBC expressed concerns that the arrest “raised questions about the rule of law and the power dynamics in Pakistan’s political landscape”.

Stressing the necessity to obey and implement court orders and uphold the Constitution, the council stated that the courts “should take care while deciding political matters whether orders passed therein could be implemented or not,” as per Dawn.

Meanwhile, Elahi on Saturday challenged his arrest under MPO in Islamabad High Court (IHC), Pakistan-based ARY News reported.

Elahi has challenged his detention through his lawyer Abdul Razzaque, ARY News reported. He has made the Secretary of Interior, IG Police and other respondents in the plea filed in the court. Elahi requested the court to strike down his arrest under MPO and order his immediate release.

He filed the plea in the court after Islamabad police rearrested him on Saturday. After his arrest, he was shifted to Attock Jail. Soon after he was taken to Islamabad, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Islamabad ordered his detention for 15 days under the Pakistan Maintenance of Public Order (MPO).

Islamabad administration issued the order and stated that the law and order situation could become worse due to Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, who they mentioned is a key office-bearer of the PTI, according to ARY News report.(ANI)

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