Former Chief Minister of Punjab and ally of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, has been booked on terrorism charges after a late-night raid at his residence in Lahore, Pakistan.
The case has been registered against 50 individuals, including the former Chief Minister, at the Ghalib Market police station under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997, along with 13 other charges including attempted murder, rioting, and assault on government officials.
The Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) team, led by Additional Director Waqas Hassan, along with heavy contingents of the Anti-Riot Force (ARF), conducted the raid to arrest Elahi.
The FIR was filed on an anti-corruption officer’s complaint, which stated that the raiding team was attacked with petrol bombs, stones, and batons while Elahi assisted in escaping arrest.
The ACE team remained on the premises of Elahi’s residence for more than three hours during which they took around nine people into custody but were unable to find Elahi.
The police sealed off Zahoor Elahi Road at both ends before launching the operation. The raiding team had approached the legal team of Elahi, which informed them that Elahi had secured protective bail from the court.
However, negotiations between the legal team and the ACE team failed, and the ARF made an attempt to enter the premises. They were met with severe resistance from the workers inside the house.
After multiple attempts failed, the police finally deployed an armoured personnel carrier (APC), which tore down the main gate and opened a passage for the police to enter the premises. The police then arrested over seven PTI workers.
They broke down the window panes as well as the doors to enter the house. In the drawing room inside, the police met with the female cousins of Elahi, who told them that he was not at home.
The police then moved to check the residence of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, which is located in the same sprawling complex that has the same entry point. Shujaat’s son, Salik Hussain, told the police that Elahi was not in their house.
Imran Khan, the head of the PTI, denounced the unauthorised search of Parvez Elahi’s residence and tweeted about it, saying that “there is no respect for the Constitution, SC verdicts, or fundamental rights of the people – there is only the law of the jungle and fascism.”
Strongly condemn the illegal raid on Pervez Elahi’s home with no respect to the women & family mbrs present. We are seeing the dismantling of democracy in Pak before our eyes. There is no respect for Constitution, SC verdicts, or fundamental rights of the ppl – only law of jungle
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) April 28, 2023
He further stated that Pervez Musharraf’s martial law regime, which was in effect at the time, did not experience this “barbarrism.”
Nine people, including two women, were reportedly detained during the raid, but Elahi is still at large, according to media reports.
A close friend of Parvez Elahi’s son Moonis was detained by the ACE hours prior to the raid at Elahi’s home. The former chairperson of the Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) was also charged with corruption by the provincial anti-graft body.
The registration of the terrorism case against Elahi has sparked outrage among his supporters, who claim that the charges are politically motivated.
The case has further intensified political tensions in Pakistan, where the opposition has been critical of the government’s policies and actions.
The incident has raised questions about the state of democracy in Pakistan and the government’s commitment to upholding the rule of law. It has also sparked concerns about the safety and security of political figures and their families in the country.
As a result of the raid at Chaudhry Parvez Elahi’s home, a case was filed against him and other people on terrorism-related charges, which has shocked Pakistan’s political establishment.
Political tensions have increased as a result of the incident, and issues with democracy and the government have also been brought up.