How Shireen Mazari was taken away before condemnations poured in

Video of arrest surfaced after Imaan alleged her mother's clothes were torn off

Former federal human rights minister and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) central leader Shireen Mazari was arrested from near her house in Islamabad Saturday afternoon.

Her arrested prompting widespread condemnations from everywhere as PTI leaders announced plans to stage protests in Islamabad and other parts of the country later in the day.

Police said that a team of the Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment arrived in the capital from Dera Ghazi Khan to arrest Mazari in a case of illegal land allocation in Rajanpur, SAMAA TV reported.

After going through formalities, a team of the Kohsar police accompanied officials of the anti-corruption department to Mazari’s house where they intercepted the former human rights minister nearby.

A video of the arrest showed that women officers of the Islamabad Capital Territory Police dragged her out of her car and took her to a waiting police van.

After being detained at the Kohsar police station for a short period, the anti-corruption team took provisional custody of Mazari and set off for Lahore or Dera Ghazi Khan. They, nevertheless, went only as far as Chakari, Mazari later told reporters when she was produced before Islamabad High Court.

SAMAA TV’s Lahore bureau chief Naeem Hanif said that as per police, she had been presented before a magistrate to seek transitional remand and that after securing permission, she was being shifted to Lahore, Hanif reported.

Earlier in a tweet, Mazari’s daughter Imaan Zainab Mazari claimed that her mother had been beaten and taken away by male police officers.

“Male police officers have beaten and taken my mother away. All I have been told is that Anti Corruption Wing Lahore has taken her,” she tweeted.

In a subsequent news conference, Imaan, who is a lawyer, warned the government should anything happen to her mother.

PTI warns of protests, further arrests

Speaking outside Islamabad’s Kohsar police station, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said that Mazari had a long, illustrious struggle for human rights.

He claimed that the former human rights minister’s arrest was condemnable, adding that she had allegedly been manhandled with her clothes torn off.

He added that her current whereabouts were unknown and that the police was not divulging any information.

“If this a declaration of war from the government, then we will also see it as such,” Chaudhry.

He added that PTI chief Imran Khan has been informed about the arrest and that he is expected to hold a news conference on this issue soon.

Chaudhry added that his party will soon file a habeas corpus petition in the Islamabad High Court against the arrest.

Speaking on Samaa TV after a video from the arrest surfaced, called the video as “edited”.

“There are two parts [of the video]. This is the edited video in which women constables are shown. The fight that took place outside her house was edited out in which male police officers were involved.” he claimed.

More arrests yet to come, claims Rasheed

Former interior minister Sheikh Rasheed claimed that the government had decided to start a sequence of arresting PTI leaders after it did not receive a ‘guarantee’ of remaining in power for 18 months.

He predicted that Mazari’s arrest will be the first of many in the upcoming days.

While speaking to SAMAA TV, he said further arrests are expected in the next three-four days including that of PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

Condemnations pour in

Apart from the PTI, there was widespread anger and shock over the arrest amongst rights organizations and other politicians alike.

Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, who is a neighbour of Mazari, deplored the arrest, and called it the “worst form of political oppression”.

Fellow rights activist and PPP leader Nafisa Shah also deplored the arrest, terming it “uncalled for, wrong”.

Human Right Commission of Pakistan also condemned the “arrest and manhandling” of Mazari.

In a series of tweets, HRCP said the arrest “smacks of political victimization” and demanded a thorough investigation into the arrest.

‘Nothing to do with government’

PML-N’s Talal Chaudhry, while speaking to SAMAA TV, said that Mazari faced an old case about illegally occupying land using forged documents.

“The case was not lodged during our government’s tenure,” he said.

In response to a question that Mazari was allegedly manhandled at her arrest, Talal said that if such a thing had happened it would become clear when the court orders her medical examination.

shireen mazari

Retrospect observer. May 21, 2022 03:35pm
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