Islamabad police arrested former Punjab chief minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi just after the Lahore High Court released him from the custody of National Accountability Bureau

LAHORE: The Islamabad police arrested former Punjab chief minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi just after the Lahore High Court (LHC) released him from the custody of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) here on Friday.

Sources privy to the matter said the politician was shifted to the Attock Jail. This arrest occurred in clear violation of the Lahore High Court’s orders, as the court had explicitly prohibited the Punjab police, anti-corruption agencies, National Accountability Bureau, and other law enforcement agencies from arresting Pervaiz Elahi in connection with any FIR, inquiry, or preventive detention-related laws.

Justice Amjad Rafiq of the LHC, in his judgment, directed Lahore’s DIG Operations and other senior police officials to ensure the safe return of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader to his residence. However, the Punjab police facilitated Elahi’s arrest by the Islamabad police.

In its written judgment, the court questioned the authority of NAB to arrest petitioner Pervaiz Elahi while the suspension of restraining order was supposed to be resolved through an inquiry into the related facts and applicable laws, as raised by both the parties in their divergent pleas and counter arguments.

However, following the court’s orders, Elahi’s

legal team expressed concern and argued before the court that a large number of Punjab police, anti-corruption officials, NAB personnel and other law enforcement agencies were stationed outside the court and prepared to re-arrest Elahi.

In response, Justice Rafiq summoned the additional registrar for the security of Lahore High Court, DIG Operations Ali Nasir Rizvi, DIG Investigation Imran Kishwar, and others to his chamber. The court instructed these officials to safely escort Elahi back to his residence.

Earlier in the day, the court had warned of issuing an arrest warrant against DG NAB for failing to produce Elahi before the court. In response, Additional Advocate-General Ghulam Sarwar claimed before the court, citing a letter from the provincial government, that ongoing operations against terrorism and security threats to politicians, including Pervaiz Elahi, were the reasons for not producing him.

At this point, the NAB stated that the bureau was ready to produce Elahi if the Punjab government could ensure security. Even after that, the court had to adjourn its hearing twice before the bureau finally produced Elahi before the court.

Moonis Elahi said on social media platform X, “After high court’s orders and on the judge’s instructions, police including court security were taking my father home. As the car entered our street, it was stopped and he was abducted. If court orders are going to be ridiculed like this, may be they should officially declare it.”Meanwhile, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s core committee said on Friday that instead of making a compromise with corrupt politicians, the party will not give up the goal of recovering the looted wealth of the nation from them.

The core committee meeting rejected the latest increase in the prices of petroleum products as cruel and also reiterated its full support for the ongoing public protests against unpaid electricity tariffs and the worst inflation.

The forum noted that to open the doors of politics to criminals and corrupt groups, the accountability system has been killed through amendments in the NAB law, whereas Chairman Imran Khan’s vision for anti-corruption and accountability of corrupt elements is unambiguous. The committee slammed PTI President Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi’s ‘brutal arrest’ against the court order and demanded his immediate release.

It also expressed full solidarity and sympathy with PTI South Punjab President Senator Aoun Abbas Bappi and paid tribute to his invaluable services to the party.

“The message received from forced disappearances, extraordinary pressure, and naked fascism has no value. Senator Aoun Abbas Bappi is part of the PTI and will continue to do so,” it said.

The committee also expressed grave concern over the trial of PTI chairman in jail, contrary to the intentions and principles of the Constitution and law.

“Given the court orders and the constitutional right to a fair trial, we demand an immediate end to discrimination and vendetta against the chairman,” it said.

The meeting also reviewed the proceedings of hearing of Chairman Imran Khan’s petition against amendments to the NAB law from the Supreme Court of Pakistan. It requested that the Supreme Court decide the NAB amendment case without delay.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), it was noted, has re-issued the schedule of delimitation of constituencies, which is insignificant and an attempt to postpone the election beyond 90 days.

The committee asked the election commission to respect the intention of Constitution and to ensure that free and fair elections are held in 90 days, as transparent and timely elections are the only solution to the serious crises facing the country and the nation.

The meeting also expressed grief over the martyrdom of army personnel in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “Prayers for the elevation of the status of martyrs and patience for the families,” it said.

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