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Wednesday, June 19, 2024  
12 Dhul-Hijjah 1445  

Islamabad police raid PTI Secretariat after Hammad Azhar shows up after a year

Azhar arrived at secretariat to meet Raoof Hassan
(T to B) A combination of photos show an Islamabad policeman at the PTI Secretariat in Islamabad, policemen outside the office, and PTI leader Hammad Azhar interacting with reporters on May 22, 2024. Screengrab via social media
(T to B) A combination of photos show an Islamabad policeman at the PTI Secretariat in Islamabad, policemen outside the office, and PTI leader Hammad Azhar interacting with reporters on May 22, 2024. Screengrab via social media

The Islamabad police raided the PTI Secretariat on Wednesday to arrest former finance minister Hammad Azhar after he showed up at the party’s central secretariat in Islamabad, the party claimed. They left almost an hour after completing the search operation.

“I, along with other party leaders, were sitting when we were informed that police entered the office without any warrant,” PTI Central Information Secretary Raoof Hassan said in a video shared by the party on social media platform X.

Upon inquiring, he said that the federal capital police were after Azhar. “When we asked them for a warrant, they said who are you to ask us for it.”

The former minister left for Peshawar before a police team led by City SSP Khan Zeb and Karachi Company SHO Muhammad Naeem raided the party’s office, sources told Aaj News.

Azhar had reappeared after almost a year away from the public eye. He went into hiding last year after a crackdown against the party leadership last year following the May 9 events.

“I received a message from Imran Khan last night after the attack on Raoof Hassan. He directed that it is now time for me to join the party leadership,” he said in a brief interaction with media personnel after arriving at the party central secretariat in Islamabad.

He said that he showed up at the office to meet Hassan. “I will then go to Peshawar and seek interim bails and request more time. I will also appear in Punjab courts and will then leave the matter to the Almighty. After the kind of attack on Raoof Hassan, I don’t think it’s right to stay hidden anymore.”

Azhar stated that he would fight all the cases against him in Punjab courts, adding: “I’m not guilty in any of them.”

Clips shared by PTI supporters on social media showed Raoof arguing with the Islamabad police, saying that they would not arrest the person who attacked him on Tuesday and conduct such raids.

According to Raoof, the “unwarranted attack” occurred when the United Nations delegation was in the office. He went on to add that such an action “humiliated” the party.

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UN delegation meets with PTI leadership

A five-member UN delegation visited the PTI Central Secretariat and met with the party leadership.

Sources said that the UN delegation inquired after Raoof Hasan. Three members of the delegation were from the New York office while two were from the Islamabad office.

The meeting was attended by PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar, Secretary General Omar Ayub, Khalid Khurshid, and other party leaders.

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