LHC dismisses plea challenging Fawad Chaudhry’s arrest – Pakistan



The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday dismissed a petition challenging the arrest of PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry who was arrested earlier today for “inciting violence against a constitutional institution”.

Justice Tariq Saleem heard the petition challenging the PTI leader’s arrest, during a hearing that was adjourned at least four times.


Key developments:

  • Fawad arrested from outside his residence early Wednesday morning
  • FIR registered by ECP official at Islamabad’s Kohsar police station for “inciting violence against a constitutional institution”
  • Lahore Cantt court allows police to take Fawad to Islamabad
  • Fawad says if criticism is rebellion then the entire nation should rebel; his wife calls on CJP to take suo motu notice of arrest
  • LHC dismisses plea challenging Fawad’s arrest

The former federal minister was taken into custody early Wednesday morning after an FIR against him was registered at Islamabad’s Kohsar police station by an official of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for “threatening” the electoral body’s members and their families.

According to Fawad’s brother, the former federal minister was “taken away” in four cars that did not have any number plates at 5:30am. Faisal Chaudhry said that the family was unaware of Fawad’s location at the time.

“We are also not being given any details of the FIR registered against him,” he said. Faisal, who is also a prominent lawyer, termed his brother’s arrest “illegal” and asserted that he will fight this battle in court.

Later, the PTI leader was brought to Lahore’s Cantt court where the judicial magistrate granted police Fawad’s transit remand.

video message shared on PTI’s official Twitter account after the hearing, Fawad said that if criticism was rebellion then the entire nation should come out on the streets.

“They have registered this case on charges of contempt against the election commission […] this is their attitude and they expect us to not even criticise them.

“Rebellion is a duty. All the 220 million people in the country should come out and rebel against this system otherwise your children will suffer too,” he said.

“Today, Imran Khan and the PTI are standing up for your rights. We are going to jail but these handcuffs are like jewellery to us […] god willing, we will emerge victorious from these trials.

“But it is the nation’s job to come out and change the system,” Fawad added.

speech outside PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s house, threatened the ECP and said that “those who become part of the caretaker government [in Punjab] will be pursued until they are punished”.

Later in a tweet, the Islamabad police said that Fawad tried to “incite violence against a constitutional institution” and “inflame the sentiments of the people”.

It added that the case will be processed as per the law.

said Fawad had been taken to the counter-terrorism department’s regional office in Lahore, as PTI leader Ali Muhammad Khan said that he is not a terrorist.

Former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Fawad’s arrest was a “strong slap on the face of democracy and rule of law”.

Ex-human rights minister Shireen Mazari called the FIR registered against Fawad “ridiculous” and asked: “How is criticising ECP decisions and even ECP members a call to violence against their families? SC decisions are criticised but ECP decisions can’t be?”

PTI’s Ali Zaidi also strongly condemned the arrest of the senior party leader and said the government was “hell-bent on pushing this country towards anarchy!”

“Pakistan has become a lawless state at the hands of these lawbreaking lawmakers and corrupt law enforcement officers,” Zaidi tweeted.

On Tuesday night, a number of PTI supporters gathered outside the former premier’s Zaman Park residence after party leaders claimed that the government had formed plans to arrest Imran Khan.




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