ISLAMABAD: As Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan finally stepped forward to condemn the “detentions and abductions” of party workers and leaders, Hiba Fawad — wife of former information minister Fawad Chaudhry — reminded the party chief of names that he missed out.
Khan had strongly condemned the “detentions and abductions” of party workers and leaders as “totally illegal” in a strongly-worded tweet.
While he mentioned the names of Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Asad Umar, Shahryar Afridi, Shireen Mazari and Falak Naz, he forgot to mention some of the names including Fawad’s.
“Khan Saab you forgot to mention Fawad Chaudhry’s, Maleeka Bokhari, Jamsheed Cheema, Musrat Cheema’s names as you mentioned others,” she replied on Twitter.
Fawad was granted bail by the Islamabad High Court after drama outside the court when he ran back to avoid re-arrest. He stayed inside IHC till late at night and came only after he was given blanket relief.
The former information minister — considered a PTI hawk in political circles — was taken into custody by the Islamabad police on May 10 when other party leaders were also rounded up following violent protests.
The coalition government launched a crackdown against PTI after protests erupted following Khan’s arrest.
Khan’s arrest on May 9 sparked clashes between his supporters and law enforcers that left at least eight people dead. Scores more were arrested, including close aides and political associates of the PTI leader.
“Our vice chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi and [Secretary] General Asad Umar have also been incarcerated for more than a week now,” he said, adding that despite court orders journalist Imran Riaz Khan has not been presented in court and there are “confirmed reports of torture against him”.
The cricketer-turned-politician, in a long note shared on his Twitter handle, reiterated his demand for the immediate release of all female leaders, workers and female family members of leaders and workers.
“How could Shehrayar Afridi’s wife be jailed?” enraged Khan wrote. “This is purely to spread terror amongst the people so that they don’t stand up for their constitutional rights.”
Shedding light on the alleged torture of former human rights minister Dr Shireen, Khan wrote: “I am deeply disturbed after hearing of Dr Shireen Mazari, the former human rights minister’s treatment and her daughter being physically assaulted by male police officers.”
A day earlier, PTI senior leader Shireen was arrested again by police shortly after her release from Adiala Jail, the former minister’s daughter, her daughter confirmed.
“Senator Falak Naz’s family and I (& our lawyer) were waiting outside Adiala Jail to receive ama [my mother] and [Senator] Falak Naz. Islamabad Police arrested them from outside the jail while we were waiting outside the exit they told us to wait at,” Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir, daughter of the former human rights minister, said in a tweet.
Imaan also claimed that when she visited jail she was tortured and manhandled by the Islamabad police as she was requesting them to let her meet Shireen who was screaming inside.
“The video evidence coming forward of the barbaric treatment meted out to our female supporters is reprehensible,” Khan asserted, adding that many of their female MNAs, supporters, and workers were being held in jails across Pakistan under “inhumane conditions, vulnerable to police excesses”.
The PTI chief, lambasting the ruling alliance, said: “These abductions and the treatment being meted out to women by this fascist government are not only grave human rights violations but are strictly against our culture and Islamic teachings.”
Reiterating his demand for their immediate release, Khan said their continued incarceration is unconscionable. “I am also raising this with international human rights organisations,” he maintained.