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Pervaiz Elahi shifted to Attock Jail,
Imran and Shah Mahood already there

ATTOCK: Former Punjab chief minister and PTI President Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, who had been arrested by the Islamabad Police from Lahore on Friday, was shifted to Attock Jail late at night.  Soon after he was shifted to Islamabad, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Islamabad ordered his detention for a period of 15 days under 3MPO.

Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan and Shah Mahmmod Qureshi are already in the Attock Jail on long time physical remand. On arrival, a three-member team of doctors carried out medical examination of the former chief minister.

Section 3 of MPO empowers the government to arrest and detain suspected persons. It states: “The government, if satisfied that with a view to preventing any person from acting in any manner prejudicial to public safety or the maintenance of public order, it is necessary to do, may, by an order in writing, direct the arrest and detention in such custody […] and [the] government, if satisfied that for the aforesaid reasons, it is necessary so to do, may extend from time to time the period of such detention, for a period not exceeding six months at a time.”

PTI President Chaudhry Parvez Elahi outside the Lahore High Court on Friday.
LAHORE:PTI President Chaudhry Parvez Elahi who had been arrested then was shifted to Attock Jail

The district magistrate’s order said that law enforcement agencies had intimated to the judge at various times that Pervaiz Elahi was the PTI president and “remained involved in creating unrest and disturbance and has further potential to disrupt the public peace and tranquility, if set free”.

It further said that in the past as well, “he has provoked PTI supporters to take law into their own hands … The intelligence agencies have further reported that they have credible information that he would be a threat and can worsen the law and order situation along with his supporters if he has not detained.”

The order added that it was also reported by agencies that multiple cases were registered against Pervaiz Elahi in different police stations for his involvement in disruption of peace, law and order.

The magistrate said it was highlighted in various reports from intelligence and law enforcement agencies that Ch Pervaiz Elahi has “planned actions against law enforcement, public infrastructure and property”, adding that the Intelligence Bureau and Islamabad’s assistant inspector general and senior superintendent of police had also recommended the PTI president’s detention under Section 3 of the MPO to prevent public disorder.

The order added that a district intelligence committee meeting was convened on the above reports on Thursday and not only endorsed them but also recommended detention order for Pervaiz Elahi.

The magistrate said that on the basis of the material placed before him and the committee’s recommendation, he was convinced that Elahi should be detained for “ensuring public peace and tranquillity”.

PTI President Chaudhry Parvez Elahi outside the Lahore High Court on Friday.
PTI President Chaudhry Parvez Elahi outside the Lahore High Court on Friday.

He ordered that Pervaiz Elahi be detained for 15 days “to avoid any likelihood of breach of peace/unlawful assembly in the district”, adding that the PTI leader had the right to appeal to the government against the decision.

Earlier, the former chief minister’s son Moonis Elahi claimed his father was “abducted” from outside his Lahore residence.

Personnel of the Islamabad police had taken former Punjab chief minister into custody on Friday, just moments after the Lahore High Court (LHC), in its explicit orders, had barred the Punjab police, anti-corruption agencies, NAB (National Accountability Bureau), and other law enforcement agencies from arresting him in connection with any FIR or inquiry.

The LHC had ordered the additional registrar for security, DIG Operations, and other senior police officials to ensure that Pervaiz Elahi returned safely to his home.

Rearrest of Pervez Elahi violating LHC orders condemnable: PBC

The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) on Saturday said that the manhandling and re-arrest of PTI President Parvez Elahi against the directives of Lahore High Court’s (LHC) is condemnable.

The LHC on Friday had directed release of Elahi besides issuing orders restraining his possible arrest by any agency or preventive detention.

However, while on way to his house along with lawyer Sardar Latif Khosa hours after his release, the former chief minister was intercepted by a team of the Islamabad police, assisted by the Punjab police.

Picture shows the main entrance of the Attock prison
Picture shows the main entrance of the Attock prison

The police personnel shifted Elahi into a white car with no licence plate, which drove him to Islamabad. Visuals of the arrest — in which men in plain clothes accompanied by uniformed Punjab policemen can be seen dragging Elahi out of his car — had gone viral on social media.

Later, Islamabad police had said in a social media post: “Parvez Elahi has been arrested under 3 MPO following an order passed by a district magistrate. Parvez Elahi is being shifted to jail.”

In a statement, 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).

It 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 upholding the Constitution, the council stated that the courts “should take care while deciding political matters whether orders passed therein could be implemented or not”.

Pervez Elahi approaches IHC against detention

Meanwhile, Pervez Elahi on Saturday approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against his detention under the MPO, urging the court to declare it as “patently illegal, unlawful and without lawful authority”.

The petition, filed through Sardar Abdul Raziq Khan, requested the IHC to set aside the detention order and issue directives for his release.

Stating that the petitioner was “subjected to successive arrests in series of false and politically motivated cases”, the plea recalled that yesterday’s LHC order included directives to the Lahore deputy inspector general (operations) to shift Elahi to his residence in Gulberg II under “tight security”.

It further said that the LHC had observed that the former Punjab chief minister “shall not be arrested in any other case or [under] MPO by police”.

The petition also recalled IHC Justice Babar Sattar’s order on a petition of PTI leader Shehryar Afridi — who was finally released on August 16 — wherein the judge had issued a contempt notice to the city deputy commissioner.

Citing other past verdicts, the plea contended that the MPO detention order was “based on vague, ambiguous and absurd grounds”. It argued that Elahi had been “languishing in jail for the last more than three months” and asked how he could have been “found in circumstances where he could create a law and order situation”.

The petition said the case was “alien to law and has been fictitiously created” to detain the petitioner further “so as to compel him to accede to some unlawful demands of the higher-ups”.

It added that the detention order was the “worst example of high-handedness, lawlessness, political victimisation, violation of rule of law and the Constitution, and tantamount to floating the orders” of the LHC.

It states: “The government, if satisfied that with a view to preventing any person from acting in any manner prejudicial to public safety or the maintenance of public order, it is necessary to do, may, by an order in writing, direct the arrest and detention in such custody […] and [the] government, if satisfied that for the aforesaid reasons, it is necessary so to do, may extend from time to time the period of such detention, for a period not exceeding six months at a time.”