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ISLAMABAD: The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC), on Wednesday, sent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) President Parvaiz Elahi on a two-day physical remand in a terrorism case registered for the alleged attack on the Federal Judicial Complex (FJC) during the hearing of PTI Chairman Imran Khan on March 18.

Police produced Elahi, the former chief minister of Punjab before ATC Duty Judge Shahrukh Arjumand to obtain his physical remand. Police rearrested the PTI president on September 5, 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 ATC Duty Judge, while announcing its reserved judgment, rejected the police request to grant 14 days physical remand of Elahi and granted police a two-day physical of the PTI leader.

Elahi’s legal team, advocates Sardar Abdur Razzaq, Ali Bukhari, and prosecutor Tahir Kazim appeared before the court. At the start of the hearing, the prosecutor requested the court to grant a 14-day physical remand of Elahi in order to conduct further investigation of him.

While objecting to the prosecution’s request, Razzaq told the court that the stance adopted for obtaining the physical remand of his client was very funny. The court had discharged Elahi from two cases registered at Gujranwala, he said, adding he was rearrested after his release.

He said the deputy commissioner (DC) had also arrested Elahi. “I filed a petition before the Lahore High Court (LHC) against the arrest of his client,” he said, adding the court discharged his client from those cases and the police re-arrested him.

Elahi’s lawyer further said the NAB had also arrested his client in another case. The LHC had issued directives in its order that he should not be arrested in any case. The court has also issued directives to police to drop Elahi at his home. He said Elahi was on his way home when Islamabad police arrested him. The federal capital police had abducted Elahi, he said. He said the LHC remarked that the arrest of Elahi in prima facie was illegal.

He said Elahi was brought to Islamabad on the pretext of having a medical checkup at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) and was put at Police Lines Headquarters after declaring it a sub-jail. “We went to Police Lines Headquarters carrying the IHC verdict. Police made Elahi sit in his car and did not allow him to meet his family members,” he said. “As soon as we reached the Police Lines Headquarters gate, the city police again arrested our client,” he said, adding that police asked Elahi’s lawyer to come out from the car and shifted Elahi to the CTD police station. He said “the police neither showed us an arrest warrant nor told us why they arrested his client.”

Elahi told his counsel that he was not allowed to sleep at the police station the entire night. “An attempt is being made to get Elahi to change his political association,” he said.

Elahi’s counsel further said the case registered by the police on March 18 in connection with the alleged attack on FJC contained names of unknown people but did not contain the names of his client. Elahi was in Lahore on the day when the PTI chief appeared before the court, he said, adding that unknown people in a case were those who were not identified.

He said “Elahi remained chief minister of Punjab twice, belongs to a well-known political family then how can he be unknown? In this case, the court has already confirmed the bail of PTI chief Imran Khan and other accused. Why do they need the physical remand of 80 years old person?” He had been in jail for the last three months, he said, and requested the court to discharge Elahi from that case.

Another counsel Ali Bukhari said Elahi was in the custody of police. “What did the investigation officer (IO) do during the last 24 hours? There is no mention of investigation in the police request for granting physical remand,” he said, adding there was nothing with police for investigation.

The court after hearing arguments reserved its verdict.

During an informal conversation with the media, Elahi said that he was kept in the CTD police station, the entire night. To a question, he asked “why anyone would meet me, he was the one who did not want to meet anyone. When he was asked do you have any intention to hold a press conference?”

“Absolutely not!” he replied.

Later, the court while announcing its verdict handed over Elahi on two-day physical remand.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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