PTI MPA Arsalan Taj rounded up

Party leaders condemn lawmaker's arrest; demand his ‘immediate release’

Our Correspondent March 12, 2023
Photo: Express News


PTI Karachi General Secretary and Sindh MPA Arslan Taj Hussain Ghuman was on Sunday arrested from his residence in the economic hub of the country, according to a party’s spokesperson.

A day earlier, Taj, PTI’s lawmaker from PS-102 Karachi East 4, criticised PPP Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari and Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon during a news conference. He went on to describe the Jamaat-e-Islami as the “PPP’s B team”.

The PTI Karachi spokesperson maintained that Taj was arrested “illegally” from his residence in Gulshan-e-Iqbal by “men in civvies”.

He added that the people who rounded up Taj had arrived in three police vehicles and they also ransacked the house.

The spokesperson condemned the PTI leader’s arrest, but there has been no response from the Sindh government and police.

Raids were also conducted at the residences of PTI MPAs Khurram Sher Zaman and Raja Azhar Khan, the spokesperson added.

However, the two lawmakers could not be arrested as they were not at their homes.

Following the incident, PTI Karachi President Aftab Siddiq and Additional Secretary General Imran Ismail immediately wrote a letter to Sindh Chief Secretary Dr Muhammad Sohail Rajput condemning Taj's arrest.

The letter read that the Sindh police were acting like the provincial government’s “private militia and domestic servants”.

It added that by arresting the PTI leader, they had blatantly violated various fundamental rights, rules and sections of the Constitution.

The letter demanded “stern action” against the Sindh police, “especially those involved in the abduction of MPA Arsalan Taj”, as well as his immediate release.

Today, our brother has been picked up from his house,” Ismail said while speaking to the media.

He questioned the whereabouts of the MPA and what had he done to be punished in this manner.

He added that Taj’s family was stricken with fear.

The PTI’s official Twitter account shared a video of the arrest, calling out the ruling PPP for “repeatedly showing their true colours”.

“[PPP Chairman and Foreign Minister] Bilawal [Bhutto-Zardari] and [PPP Co-Chairperson Asif Ali] Zardari should be ashamed of themselves for this gross act of fascism,” it added, urging the media to “speak up” against them.

Taj’s mother claimed that the police raided their home and arrested her son without a warrant.

She added that no female officer accompanied the policemen.

The lawmaker’s mother alleged that around 20 to 25 people had rounded up her son.

PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry took to Twitter to condemn the MPA's arrest and demanded his immediate release.

“PTI Karachi General Secretary and MPA Arsalan Taj Ghuman has been abducted by [the] authorities. [The] PTI strongly condemn[s] this abduction and demand[s] release of Arsalan immediately,” he wrote.

Similar to Taj’s mother, PTI MPA Firdous Shamim Naqvi also alleged that the party’s lawmaker had been arrested without a warrant.

He added that he had visited three police stations, but was unable to track the PTI MPA.

He further claimed that the Gulistan-e-Johar police station had refused to take the application [in connection with Taj’s arrest].

Naqvi said Taj’s family was upset after his arrest and the PTI would stage a protest against the development.

PTI leader Shehzad Qureshi maintained that Taj was taken to an undisclosed location.

He questioned if the police saw lawmakers as terrorists.

Khurram Sher Zaman raised the question whether or not the police had sought the Sindh Assembly speaker’s permission before arresting Taj.

He added that there were rules in place before a member of the assembly could be arrested.

Zaman also demanded Taj’s immediate release.

(With input from agencies)


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