Farah Deeba, one of five women members of the Punjab Assembly accused by the Election Commission of holding a fake degree, was granted pre-arrest bail on Saturday.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Anjum Raza Syed set bail at Rs50,000 and then summoned the case record by January 31 on a petition filed by Deeba. She claimed that her ex-husband had conspired to get her in trouble.
On Friday, Punjab’s Deputy Election Commissioner Rana Ishtiaq sent a request to the Punjab Police inspector general (IG) to register First Information Reports (FIRs) against Deeba, Afshan Farooq, Naseem Nasir Khawaja and Saima Aziz of the Pakistan Muslim-Nawaz and Safia Saima Khar of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). Cases were registered at Islampura police station under Sections 94, 78 and 82 of the People’s Representation Act (1976) and Sections 199, 471 and 200 of the Pakistan Penal Code.
The four other women MPAs were not arrested on Saturday, nor did they apply for pre-arrest bail.
In her petition, Deeba said that she had filed for divorce from Amjad Butt Pasroori in June 2008, some 18 months after their wedding, upon discovering that he was a “cheater” who had three or four ID cards and passports under different names. She said that he had threatened her and had run a campaign of disinformation about her online by launching a fake Facebook profile of her that included false information. She said she came from a respectable family and would suffer an “irreparable loss” if she were arrested. She said her past record was clean and asked for bail till the petition was decided.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 22nd, 2012.