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Drama as Fawad jumps out of car to rush back into IHC to avoid arrest

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ISLAMABAD: Minutes after his release, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Fawad Chaudhry evaded arrest as the police made a move to detain the former information minister as he was leaving the Islamabad High Court (IHC). 

After securing bail from IHC, Fawad had just sat in his car and had barely moved when he saw Anti-Terrorist Squad personnel moving towards him.

As soon as he saw the cops moving towards him the PTI leader ran out of his car and into the premises of the IHC to evade arrest. He is currently back in the court room along with his lawyers.

Interestingly, the police made a move to arrest the PTI leader despite him submitting an undertaking in the IHC of not violating the section 144 and taking part in protests. 

Earlier today, the IHC had declared the arrest of PTI leaders Fawad, Shireen Mazari and Senator Falak Naz under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Ordinance (MPO) “illegal”.

The orders to release the PTI leaders were issued by Justice Mian Gul Hassan Aurangzeb’s court while hearing separate pleas.

During Fawad Chaudhry’s hearing, Islamabad Advocate General Barrister Jahangir Jadoon appeared before the single-judge bench.

“I want to place some facts before the court,” he said, informing the court that the copy of the court’s order was not given to the IG office and law officers. He added that the biometric verification of the PTI leader was also not done on the petition.

At this, the judge rebuked the lawyer saying that he wasn’t the judge and it was the court’s authority to see whether the biometrics had been done.

Moving on, the AG contended that Fawad Chaudhry had not been arrested in any case. He would have been required to be presented in court if the arrest had been made under a case.

Barrister Jadoon further argued that Fawad through his conduct had to prove whether he is a peaceful citizen or not. He added that the nation incurred losses of billions due to the incidents of May 9.

At this, Justice Aurangzeb remarked that the court had not barred the authorities from taking action on those incidents.

However, Jadoon mentioned that the court while stopping Imran Khan’s arrest had mentioned the MPO separately. If they had stopped arrest in cases only, the arrest could have been made under MPO, he added.

At this, the court asked who had advised that the arrest could be made under MPO.

To the court’s query, the AG responded that no one had advised them, however, they were unaware of the court order against arrest.

The government lawyer then presented a tweet by Fawad, posted on May 10, saying that it was a video of the PTI leader inciting workers to join the protests.

The government lawyer stated that Fawad in his tweet had said that it was liable to the PTI workers to take part in protests following Imran Khan’s arrest.

On this point, Babar Awan argued that the deputy commissioner must have known about the high court’s order on the arrest by now. He urged the court to extend its order stopping authorities from arresting Fawad and his client be given time to contact the relevant court.

The court then asked if the police had shown any documents to the PTI leader at the time of his arrest.

“When the order was read, the police officer said he did not know English,” said Awan. He added that his client was arrested based on material that does not exist.

To this assertion by the PTI lawyer, Justice Aurangzeb responded that the incidents that occurred after Imran Khan’s arrest should be taken seriously.

“Fawad Chaudhry is an important person, a former federal minister, does he not know the mob of Pakistan?” asked Justice Aurangzeb.

“When Fawad asked people to come out did he expect only law-abiding citizens to come out?”

“If the district magistrate does not pass this [detention] order on the matter then what should be done?” asked Justice Aurangzeb. He further added that the court had summoned Fawad so that he could be released.

“It had not seen the material shared by the advocate general today.”

The court had then reserved the verdict.

IHC declares Shireen Mazari’s arrest illegal

Earlier, Justice Aurangzeb while hearing a plea ordered the release of PTI leader Shireen Mazari and declared her arrest under Section 3 of Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) illegal.

The former human rights minister’s daughter Imaan Mazari had approached the IHC for the release of her mother.

During today’s hearing, the petitioner’s counsel Zainab Janjua informed the court that the district magistrate ordered Shireen Mazari’s arrest fearing that she may harm the law and order situation. She added that the former minister was accused of inciting PTI workers.

However, the counsel explained to the court that her client was in court since May 9 and had not even issued any public statement. She added that the former ministers’ location at home can be checked through the CCTV footage and call data record.

“Tell us what is the age of Shireen Mazari,” asked the court upon hearing this.

Janjua told the court that the PTI leader was 72 years old and has medical issues as well.

At this point, the deputy commissioner, who was acting as the district magistrate, appeared in court.

However, the DC’s failure to come up with the record irked the court and it ordered the official to appear with the material on which basis the detention order was issued.

The court then took a break.

Once the hearing resumed, the high court declared the former human rights minister’s detention illegal.

The bench also ordered the release of PTI Senator Falak Naz who was arrested under the same law as Mazari.

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Parliament’s joint session has been rescheduled for April 18.

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Following the general elections on February 8, the legislative year will begin on Thursday with President Asif Ali Zardari addressing the first session of both houses of parliament.

Articles 54 (1) and 56 (3) of the Constitution were invoked by President Zardari to call the meeting. According to Article 56(3), he will speak to the combined session, which starts at 4 p.m.

The combined session, which was originally set for April 16, has been moved to April 18. For this reason, the April 16 joint parliamentary session notification is revoked.

Note that both the upper and lower houses have had their members elected in accordance with the constitution, and that this will be the nation’s first joint session after the new legislative year has begun.

Former President Arif Alvi was still in office after the elections that took place on February 8, but he was unable to call a joint session because the Senate elections had not yet taken place.

The combined session was summoned by President Zardari a few weeks after he took the oath of office and after the Senate elections went well.

Some months after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s coalition government had taken power in the center, Alvi had already called a joint session of parliament on October 6, 2022.

On the other hand, the session was called by the then-president to commemorate the start of the 2022 National Assembly’s final full year.

Amidst the nation’s increasing political instability, the former president emphasized the need for dialogue and urged to end polarization in his speech to the parliament, which was marred by an unexpected boycott by the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F).

“Stubbornness doesn’t mean that a person is a Polarized person.”

In the end, the number of parliamentarians in attendance during the former president’s speech dropped down to 12 from the initial 15 people.

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In instances from May 9, the ATC prevented police from detaining Fawad Chaudhry.

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The ATC judge issued the directives after allowing Fawad Chaudhry temporary release until April 20 in four cases involving the violence on May 9.

Additionally, the police were instructed by the court to bring the case file against Chaudhry at the following hearing.

Speaking to reporters outside the court, Fawad Chaudhry expressed his optimism for a bright future after spending four stints behind bars.

Among the numerous issues Chaudhry is dealing with are allegations of corruption.

The former PTI leader was released from Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail on April 6.

On April 1, Fawad Chaudhry was granted bail by a division bench of the Islamabad High Court, which was composed of Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri. The case included land in Jhelum and was brought before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Qasir Imam, Fawad’s attorney, had previously told the court that his client was accused of accepting a Rs. 5 million bribe from a civilian.

He added that he had never seen the complainant whose complaint led to the filing of a first information report (FIR) against his client. The accusation is that the complainant bribed Fawad and his client offered him a job.

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Pakistan

The SHC is contesting Aseefa Bhutto’s election to the Nawabshah NA seat.

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Mustafa Rind of the PTI asserted in a high court suit that his nomination papers were turned down following his kidnapping.

He begged that the announcement of Aseefa Bhutto’s uncontested election be deemed invalid, and he added that a by-election to fill the National Assembly’s open seats will take place on April 21.

On March 29, the Pakistani Election Commission announced that Aseefa Bhutto had emerged victorious as the MNA from NA-207, following the withdrawal of nomination papers from the remaining three candidates.

Shaheed Benazirabad (Nawabshah), which became vacant after her father Asif Ali Zardari was elected as Pakistan’s 14th President, was held by Aseefa Bhutto in the National Assembly.

In the initial round of nomination papers for the by-election, 11 candidates were confirmed by the Returning Officer. Only four nominees’ papers, including Aseefa Zardari, were accepted after careful examination, nevertheless.

In an effort to garner support for her brother Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Aseefa led a number of rallies during the PPP’s strong involvement in the election campaign leading up to the general elections on February 8. At a PPP gathering in Multan on November 30, 2020, she made her political debut.

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