ISLAMABAD: An Islamabad anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Wednesday granted the capital police two-day physical remand of PTI President Parvez Elahi in a newly emerged terror case dating back to March 18.
The development comes a day after Elahi was re-arrested hours after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had suspended his detention under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) ordinance and directed his release.
The PTI leader has now been arrested at least 11 times in various cases since the start of June and after a statewide crackdown was launched against the PTI in the aftermath of the May 9 violence.
The posts on X (formerly Twitter) by the Islamabad police on Tuesday announcing Elahi’s release and his subsequent re-arrest had a time difference of a mere eight minutes. Police had said Elahi was detained in a case registered at the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) police station.
The PTI had shared footage of the latest episode and criticised authorities for Elahi’s latest arrest.
Earlier yesterday, capital police presented the PTI leader before Duty Judge Shahrukh Arjumand at the Federal Judicial Complex (FJC). Footage of his arrival appeared to show Elahi holding onto someone’s hand for support.
Advocate Sardar Abdur Razzaq and defence counsel Ali Bukhari appeared on Elahi’s behalf while Prosecutor Tahir Kazim was also present.
During the hearing, the police sought 14-day physical remand of the former Punjab chief minister while his lawyers opposed it and urged the court to discharge Elahi from the case.
However, the court rejected the lawyer’s plea and handed Elahi over to the police instead on two-day physical remand.
During an informal conversation with reporters at the FJC, Elahi said, “I was kept at the Crime Investigation Agency police station the entire night. “Why would anyone meet me? I am the one who doesn’t want to meet anyone,” he said.
When asked by a reporter if he planned to hold a press conference — an apparent reference to the manner in which dozens of PTI leaders quit the party following the May 9 incidents — Elahi replied, “Absolutely not.”
ATC hearing at FJC
At the outset of the hearing, Elahi’s lawyers submitted a power of attorney. Razzaq informed the court that it was his client’s wish to “go to the courtroom myself”.
The judge then directed that Elahi be seated, after which he came to the rostrum. Subsequently, the police urged the court to grant them 14-day physical remand of the PTI leader.
Here, Razzaq began presenting his arguments to the court, opposing the police’s request. “A laughable case has been made against Parvez Elahi. He is being made the target of a political vendetta,” he argued.
He lamented that his client was discharged in numerous cases but was then re-arrested repeatedly. He also highlighted the IHC’s verdict of suspending Elahi’s detention under the MPO, as well as the LHC’s order preventing further arrest of the PTI leader.
“The court ordered that Parvez Elahi be dropped off at his home with security,” Razzaq stated, adding that the Islamabad police had “abducted” his client.
Recalling the LHC’s order from September 4, the lawyer said that it had ordered that Elahi be presented in court. “Citizens’ human rights are being violated,” he said.