PTI's Shehryar Afridi arrested under MPO

Former interior minister nabbed from Islamabad along with wife

News Desk May 16, 2023
Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir Shehryar Afridi. PHOTO: APP/FILE


Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shehryar Afridi was arrested on Tuesday as the crackdown against the party's leadership and supporters continues. 

According to the party, the former interior minister was “picked up” from Islamabad allegedly along with his wife.

“Ex-interior minister Shehryar Afridi has been picked up this time, not alone but along with his wife who has no political affiliation. This is happening under the current fascist regime,” informed PTI Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s official Twitter account.

The former interior minister was reportedly arrested under Section 3 of Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance 1960, which enables the government to arrest persons “acting in any manner prejudicial to public safety”

Afridi’s is the latest in the series of arrests of PTI leadership. In the aftermath of widespread rioting and protests following former prime minister and PTI Chairperson Imran Khan’s controversial arrest last week, several party leaders including Fawad Chaudhry, Asad Umar, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Dr Yasmeen Rashid, Shireen Mazari and Fayyazul Hassan Chauhan have been taken into custody.

While some party leaders have been granted relief by the courts, others remain in custody. Scores of civilians, including women, accused of rioting and vandalism after Imran's arrest have also been rounded up by the authorities from different parts of the country in the past week. 

On May 9, 2023, troops of paramilitary Rangers barged into the Islamabad High Court (IHC) premises, where Imran had appeared in connection with the Al-Qadir Trust case to face graft proceedings against him, and whisked the former premier away in a whirlwind raid carried out on the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) behalf.

Read: Imran renews call for protests

The arrest, or “abduction” as PTI claims, took place before the court proceedings could begin. IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq called into question the manner of arrest, issuing contempt notices to the interior secretary and the Islamabad inspector-general of police (IGP) but maintained that the arrest itself was legal.

The next day, the IHC granted NAB an eight-day physical remand of the PTI chairperson and indicted him in a separate graft case for which Imran and his legal team had earlier boycotted proceedings.

On May 11, however, the Supreme Court declared Imran’s arrest illegal and issued directives for his immediate release. The political situation remains tense with the PTI and the federal government at loggerheads and hurling accusations at judicial and security forces for interfering with democratic processes.


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