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18 Dhul-Hijjah 1445  

Pervaiz Elahi re-arrested after court acquits him in graft cases

Anti-Corruption Establishment alleges PTI president made 12 illegal appointments of Grade 17 in the Punjab Assembly
PTI President Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi during a court appearance on June 03, 2023. Photo via PML-Q
PTI President Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi during a court appearance on June 03, 2023. Photo via PML-Q

PTI President Pervaiz Elahi was re-arrested on Saturday after a court in Gujranwala acquitted him in two corruption cases due to a lack of evidence.

“Anti-Corruption Establishment in Lahore arrested Pervaiz Elahi in illegal appointments in the Punjab Assembly case,” said the spokesperson. “Pervaiz Elahi made 12 illegal appointments of Grade 17 in the Punjab Assembly.”

Earlier there were reports that Perviaz might get arrested in a case registered in Dera Ghazi Khan.

Pakistan is beset by political turmoil as Khan’s party has faced a countrywide crackdown since his own arrest on May 9 for suspected graft sparked widespread protests that saw mobs ransacking state installations, including military assets.

The spokesperson alleged that failed candidates in the Punjab Assembly were recruited by altering their records. Fake testing services were hired for scams in the recruitment process, the spokesperson claimed.

“In anti-corruption inquiry, fake recruitments in Punjab Assembly were proved. There is clear evidence of corruption in recruitment,” it was added.

The PTI alleged that the party president was arrested for his decision to not leave the party.

The Imran Khan-led party slammed the caretaker government for making “personal attacks” on judges.

Moreover, Pervaiz’s son Moonis said that cases were being registered only under the “revenge agenda”.

Court discharges Pervaiz

In a reserved judgment, a court in Gujranwala discharged PTI President Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi in two graft cases due to a lack of evidence. But he was taken away by anti-corruption department officials to their regional office, said Aaj News correspondent.

“I was kept in the police station last night and not even given medicine,” Pervaiz said when he appeared in court. “It doesn’t matter how much they want to do this cruelty. This is a pre-planned conspiracy. But we are as firm as a rock.”

Later, the court reserved its judgment after hearing arguments from both sides.

This is the third time Pervaiz was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Establishment. He was re-arrested on June 2 after being acquitted and released from custody by a Lahore judicial magistrate in a corruption case.

Yasmin Rashid gets relief

Earlier in the day, an anti-terrorism court in Lahore discharged PTI leader Yasmin Rashid in the Jinnah House attack case and ordered her release. The court rejected the police request to extend the physical remand of the former provincial health minister by 14 days.

“Perusal of record reveals that neither Dr Yasmin Rashid is nominated in FIR nor involved through supplementary statement and she was summoned on the disclosure of co-accused which has no evidentiary value in the eye of the law,” said court order of May 29 proceedings.

The order was written by ATC, Lahore Administrative Judge Abher Gul Khan.

Several PTI leaders and supporters were arrested following events of May 9 after former prime minister Imran Khan was arrested by paramilitary forces within the premises of Islamabad High Court.

Khan was later released, but the top-tier leadership of his party was arrested for the riots. Rashid was one of them as the provincial government claimed that she had incited the supporters to take the streets if the party chief was held.

Moreover, several audio leaks apparently involving PTI leaders last month purportedly suggested the party leadership was instigating its workers to attack the Jinnah House (Lahore’s Corps Commander’s House in Cantonment).

The ATC denied police further physical remand of Rashid on May 29 and allowed her physical remand to the police for two days.

“Since no incriminating material is available on record to connect her with the commission of offence, therefore, request of [the] Investigation Officer is turned down and she is accordingly discharged from [the] instant case. She be released forthwith, if not required in any other case,” read the court order released on Saturday.

In reaction to the development, the PTI wondered who would be punished for keeping Rashid and other party leaders in jail for 24 days.

“Dr Yasmin Rashid is an elderly woman with cancer, who spent her whole life as a doctor saving people’s lives and as a minister, saved millions of lives during the coronavirus pandemic,” it said.

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