Justice Aalia Neelam of the Lahore High Court on Thursday declared the detention of Maulana Muavia Tariq of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Act illegal and ordered the Punjab government to release him.
Tariq was declared a danger to the peace and detained on February 17. His lawyer argued that the detention was meant to prevent him campaigning for the elections against the PML-N.
A Home Department official appeared before the court to explain Tariq’s continuing detention but the judge found it to be unjustifiable.
Maulana Muavia Tariq is the son of Maulana Azam Tariq, who was a leader of the Sipah-i-Sahaba and was thrice elected to the National Assembly from Jhang. He was assassinated in 2003.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 3rd, 2013.