Shehryar Afridi, a prominent figure within Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), was arrested on Tuesday, marking another pivotal moment in the ongoing clampdown against the party’s top brass and its adherents.
Afridi’s detention is just the latest in a series of apprehensions targeting PTI’s hierarchy, affiliates, and followers, a crackdown sparked by the turbulent demonstrations that erupted on May 9. This wave of chaos was set into motion following the apprehension of PTI’s frontman, Imran Khan, on that very day.
Insider accounts suggest that the erstwhile minister of PTI was whisked away from Islamabad’s Sector F-8 under the mandate of Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order (3MPO).
Further afield in Punjab, another PTI stalwart, Fayyaz-ul-Hasan Chohan, found himself in police custody, apprehended from Murree Road, Liaquat Bagh.
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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.
Chohan is also accused of burning and vandalising the metro station on the Sixth Road. However, the PTI politician has been granted pre-arrest bail by the Anti-Terrorism Court till May 18. The police also raided Chohan’s house last night but were unable to apprehend him.
Both Afridi and Chohan join the list of PTI leaders including Asad Umar, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Fawad Chaudhary, Ejaz Chaudhary, Ali Mohammad Khan, Jamshed Iqbal Cheema, and Omar Sarfaraz Cheema, all of whom have been taken into custody after violence gripped the nation following Khan’s arrest which was later declared “illegal” by the Supreme Court.
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While the PTI chief was released two days after being taken into custody, a crackdown against his party’s politicians continues with action by relevant authorities slow down.
The party’s women leaders who were apprehended during this arrest spree include Dr Shireen Mazari, Dr Yasmin Rashid, Maleeka Bukhari and others.
Meanwhile in Sindh, the provincial government declared the house of former PTI minister Ali Zaidi’s house as a sub-jail.
A notification in this regard was issued on Monday night. Zaidi was also arrested on May 9 by law enforcement agencies following mayhem in the Baloch Colony area.
Later, a petition was filed with the Sindh High Court by his family against his detention. On Monday, the Sindh government in a meeting to review law and order situation made the decision to declare the house of Zaidi a sub-jail.