Not one to flee, ready to be arrested: Hanif Abbasi
RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi denounced the arrests of around 250 party workers in relation to a case against a rally led by Captain (retd) Safdar Awan in Rawalpindi.
PML-N workers were arrested after a case was registered against party supremo's son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar along with 15 others for violating the Punjab Regulation and Control of Loudspeakers and Sound Amplifiers Ordinance 1965 on Monday.
Rawalpindi Mayor Sardar Naseem's close aid Gul Faraz Jadoon was among the arrested party workers.
"The police has arrested around 250 PML-N leaders. I am ready to be arrested too... I am not one who will flee," Abbasi said.
"But make an announcement if Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has been set up to win the election from Rawalpindi," he added.
PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif also condemned the arrests of party workers. "Arrests like these are condemnable efforts to drive the party into a narrow alley," he said.
The former Punjab chief minister further said the arrests raised questions over the transparency of the upcoming polls.
Shehbaz requested the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to immediately take notice of the issue.
37 PML-N workers sent on judicial remand
On Tuesday, 37 PML-N workers were presented before a civil court. Civil Judge Muzna Chauhdry sent the workers to jail on judicial remand.
City Police will shift the PML-N workers to Adiala Jail tomorrow.
Senator Mushahid Hussain writes to Punjab CM
In a letter to interim Punjab chief minister Dr Hasan Askari, PML-N Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed stated that false cases have been lodged against over 200 party workers, candidates and senators.
"The arrests will create unrest in the country's political environment," Senator Hussain wrote, adding that these actions are in line with giving a free-hand to PML-N's political opponents.
The PML-N leader further stated that the arrests of election-hopefuls and senators was a direct violation of the code of conduct issued by the ECP for the upcoming polls.
"Your government is liable to comply with the election code of conduct," Senator Hussain wrote in the letter to the Punjab caretaker chief minister.
In the letter, Hussain also discussed party supremo Nawaz Sharif's return to Pakistan. "It is our political right to welcome Nawaz Sharif on his return to Pakistan," he wrote, adding that the party should not be denied its basic right.
The imposition of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, a law concerning the maintenance of public order, in Punjab is the violation of democratic traditions, Hussain wrote to Dr Askari. "The imposition of Section 144 under the current circumstances is a condemnable effort to affect the election atmosphere," states the letter.
Senator Hussain, through his letter, requested Chief Minister Askari to take back all of the aforesaid actions taken by the government, including the imposition of Section 144.
Captain (retd) Safdar's arrest
Captain (retd) Safdar, who was absconding after the Avenfield Properties corruption reference verdict, had arrived at a PML-N rally at Liaquat Road on Friday. He then disembarked from a vehicle and joined supporters amid cheers.
PML-N leaders Senator Chaudhry Tanveer and Malik Shakeel Awan, among others, brought Safdar into their fold and delayed the latter's arrest as a NAB team made efforts to take custody of the convict. Captain (retd) Safdar delivered a speech, as the NAB team attempted to arrest him.
According to the case, registered in the Waris Khan Police Station by SHO Muhammad Arham, PML-N leaders and workers are accused of violating the code of conduct prescribed by ECP for the upcoming polls along with the Amplifiers Ordinance.
NAB finally arrests Safdar after he appears at PML-N rally in Rawalpindi
Among those accused are two PML-N candidates contesting the General Election 2018 for seats in the provincial assembly, while one of the accused leaders is contesting the polls from a National Assembly constituency. PML-N leaders Chaudhry Tanveer, Daniyal Chaudhry, Raja Haneef, Sheikh Arsalan, and Ziaullah Shah have been named in the petition along with hundreds of unknown persons.
The case has been registered under Sections 149, 147, 188, 341, and 3/7 of the Amplifier Act.