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ISLAMABAD: Hammad Azhar, a senior Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader, who had gone into hiding in the wake of May 09 riots, resurfaced on Wednesday, on the directives of jailed party founding chairman Imran Khan.

Azhar was seen at the party’s central secretariat which prompted the Islamabad Police to surround the building to arrest him, but he left the party’s office before the arrival of the cops.

Earlier, in a brief conversation with journalists, he said that after the attack on PTI spokesman Raoof Hasan a day ago in Islamabad, the party founding chairman Imran Khan has directed to come out of the hiding and lead the party.

“I received a message from Imran Khan last night after the attack on Rauf Hassan. He directed that it is now time for me to join the party leadership,” he added.

He said that he would go to Peshawar and seek interim bails and request more time besides appearing in Punjab courts and will then leave the matter to the Almighty.

The PTI leader said he would go to Peshawar to secure pre-arrest bail as he is booked in several cases in connection with May 9 riots that broke out in the country last year after the arrest of PTI founder in corruption case.

“All leaders including Murad Saeed will come out of hiding. After the kind of attack on Raoof Hassan, I don’t think it’s right to stay hidden anymore,” he added.

In a post on X, PTI Secretary General Omar Ayub condemned the police raid on the PTI’s office.

“The attackers on Raoof Hasan have not been traced or arrested yet, but the police miraculously came to know that Hammad Azhar had visited PTIs central secretariat,” he regretted.

Hammad, the acting president of PTI Punjab chapter, did not contest the February 8 general elections as his nomination papers were rejected.

He served as energy minister during the tenure of PTI-led government from 2018 to 2022.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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