The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) “strongly condemned” the “manhandling” and re-arrest of PTI President Parvez Elahi a day earlier in violation of Lahore High Court (LHC) orders on Saturday.
The LHC granted the former Punjab chief minister’s release on Friday, coupled with a restraining order prohibiting any agency’s arrest or preventative custody.
However, hours after he was released from the Adiala Jail, a team of Islamabad police, aided by Punjab police, detained the white SUV in which Elahi was traveling to his house with lawyer Sardar Latif Khosa near the FCC subway.
Elahi was loaded into a white sedan with no licence plate and driven to Islamabad by police. Images of the arrest, in which men in plain clothes are seen being dragged out of Elahi’s car by uniformed Punjab policeman, have become popular on social media.
“Parvez Elahi has been arrested under 3 MPO following an order passed by a district magistrate,” Islamabad police stated later in a social media post. Parvez Elahi is being detained.”
PBC Vice-Chairman Haroonur Rashid and Executive Committee Chairman Hassan Raza Pasha issued a statement today in which they “strongly condemned the manhandling and the way” Elahi was re-arrested, as well as his incarceration under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO).
It stated that the re-arrest was carried out “while disregarding and failing to comply” with the LHC’s order, which had “categorically ordered not to re-arrest him in any case.”
The arrest, according to the PBC, “raised questions about the rule of law and power dynamics in Pakistan’s political landscape.”
The council emphasised that courts “should take care while deciding political matters whether orders passed therein could be implemented or not” while emphasising the need to obey and implement court orders and uphold the Constitution.