After a former minister accused the electoral tribunal of siding with the army and warning “those going after PTI” of Article 6 proceedings, an arrest was made.
LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: Fawad Chaudhry, senior vice president of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), was “taken up” from outside his home in the wee hours of Wednesday, according to the opposition party. He was then brought before a judge in Lahore.
Faisal Chaudhry, Chaudhry’s brother, described the arrest as “illegal,” adding that the family has not yet been told of the charges or whereabouts of the arrestee. The arrest was made by unidentified individuals in four Toyota Hilux pickup trucks without license plates.
The opposition party reported on Twitter that Chaudhry was now being escorted by police and counterterrorism department (CTD) officers to a court in the Cantt neighborhood.
After a First Information Report (FIR) was filed against the former minister at the Kohsar police station in Islamabad on the complaint of Umar Hameed, the secretary of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the former minister was arrested a short time later.
The complaint claims that Chaudhry disparaged the commission by comparing it to a munshi (secretary) and implying that it takes orders from higher-ups, a reference to the military.
Furthermore, it asserts that Chaudhry threatened the tribunal by stating during a speech outside the home of former prime minister Imran Khan that “those who join the caretaker government [in Punjab] will be pursued till they are punished.”
The FIR refers to the Pakistan Penal Code’s sections 153-A (promotion of enmity between groups), 506 (criminal intimidation), 505 (statement conducing to public mischief), and 124-A (sedition).
Chaudhry allegedly tried to “incite violence against a constitutional institution” and “inflame the people’s sentiments,” according to a later tweet from the Islamabad police.
The case would be handled in accordance with the law, the police added.