IHC orders judicial inquiry into arrest of Shireen Mazari

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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Saturday night ordered a judicial inquiry into the arrest of ex-human rights minister Shireen Mazari and asked the police to release her immediately.

The ex-minister was arraigned in court at 11:30 p.m. after her daughter – Imaan Zainab Mazari – filed a plea against her mother’s arrest.

The IHC Chief Justice, finding that the arrest was apparently “unlawful”, ordered Mazari’s immediate release and asked the authorities to return the ex-federal minister’s phone to him.

Speaking to reporters before entering the courtroom, Mazari said: “I still haven’t got my phone back.”

The former federal minister claimed that the police did not show him the arrest warrants before arresting him, adding that they believed that the PML-N, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and the Minister of Interior Rana Sanaullah were behind his arrest.

The former minister for human rights, according to Geo Newswas taken into custody by the Punjab Anti-Corruption Department in a case related to land encroachment in Rajanpur district.

The audience

Mazari was brought into the courtroom at 11:40 p.m.

At the start of the hearing, Inspector General Islamabad Muhammad Ahsan Younas told the court that he took office today.

IHC CJ told the Inspector General that no member of the National Assembly (MNA), belonging to the PTI, has yet been denoted and that the court has already issued a directive that no MP should be arrested before to have informed the president of the NA.

“There is a Constitution and the court relies on this Constitution […] the IG will have to take responsibility; I can’t say that the [court’s] the registrar is responsible,” the IHC Chief Justice said.

Moving on, Islamabad’s Attorney General, Jahangir Khan Jadoon, told IHC that “the federal government was not aware of the matter.”

In response, the IHC Chief Justice said how police from any province could come to the capital and arrest people.

The attorney general told IHC that the anti-corruption department arrested Mazari in coordination with the capital’s police.

IHC CJ Minallah said that to date the case of journalist Matiullah Jan has not been resolved. “The court will not tolerate such incidents in its jurisdiction. […] tell me, who is going to investigate this case? »

The attorney general told the court that if the legal prerequisites were not met when Mazari was arrested, action would be taken against those responsible.

He added that once the government learned of the arrest, it ordered his immediate release.

“If an arrest was made in a case, then how was an order made for his release?” said the Chief Justice of the IHC.

For her part, Mazari’s daughter told the court that she wanted a judicial inquiry to be opened to investigate her mother’s arrest.

Islamabad’s Advocate General also told the court that the ex-minister had resigned from the assembly. To this, the IHC Chief Justice said that although she had resigned, the speaker had not yet denoted her.

“In the past, deputies have been arrested who are still in detention […] political leaders should sit down and think about this issue,” Judge Minallah said, calling Mazari’s arrest “unfortunate.”

The ex-minister told the court she believed Prime Ministers Shehbaz and Sanaullah were behind her arrest. In response, Justice Minallah said that during “your government, bigger incidents have taken place, this will happen if you do not respect the Constitution”.

“The court continued to hear the missing persons case, but the government did nothing,” he said, adding, “The Constitution must be respected.”

The court then ordered the government to conduct a judicial inquiry, release Mazari and his phone, and said that once warrants were prepared for the judicial inquiry, they should be produced in court.

Shortly after the hearing, Mazari arrived at her home.

‘Kidnapped’

Speaking to reporters, Mazari’s daughter, Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir, confirmed the development, saying “male police officers beat and took away her mother.”

She warned the new government that she “wouldn’t spare any of them if anything happened to her mother”.

“I was only told that the anti-corruption wing arrested my mother,” she said, adding that her mother was arrested without notice to the family.

“If this government does such a thing, then I will sue them,” she said, adding that her mother had not been arrested but would call it a “kidnapping incident.”

Contrary to Imaan’s claim that male officers arrested her mother, footage released on Geo News shows several female officers present at the scene of the arrest, trying to get Mazari out of her car after she started to resist arrest.

Message from Mazari to Hamid Mir

In a message to senior journalist Hamid Mir two days ago, Mazari said she “did not know about the case and was seven years old when the land reform took place in 1958”.

The former federal minister said in 1971 that she studied at the London School of Economics (LSE) in England. The PTI leader also added that “we have won cases in the Supreme Court and Lahore High Court”, without going into the specifics of the cases.

The former minister said she was searching for case files in her village, adding that she ‘doesn’t even own 500 acres of land’.

Police deny abuse allegations

Taking to Twitter, Islamabad Police issued a clarification and said Mazari had not been abused contrary to her daughter’s claims.

“Dr. Shireen Mazari was arrested by policewomen in accordance with the law at the request of the anti-corruption department. News of any mismanagement is baseless.”

Politicians, the PTI reacts

In response to the incident, former prime minister and PTI chairman Imran Khan said Mazari had been “violently abducted from outside her house by this fascist regime”.

The PTI president noted that Mazari was strong and fearless and if the “imported government” thinks they can coerce her through this “fascism, they miscalculated!”

The ex-Prime Minister claimed that the PTI anti-government was peaceful, but alleged that “this imported fascist government” wants to push the country towards chaos.

“As if sending the economy into a tailspin wasn’t enough, now they want anarchy to avoid an election. Today we will protest and tomorrow after the CC meeting. I will announce our long march,” he said. -he adds.

Condemning his arrest, former interior minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad said such tactics would strengthen their movement.

Talk to Geo News, he said the government had changed police officers in Islamabad and other cities. “PTI Chairman Imran Khan could also be arrested,” feared Sheikh Rasheed. He said PTI workers are being arrested across the country.

Former Sindh Governor Imran Ismail wrote on Twitter: “Mazari’s arrest is a sign that the imported government is perplexed.”

“The imported government is itself complicating the situation.”

Meanwhile, former parliamentary affairs minister Ali Mohammad Khan called the incident a “cowardly act” by the coalition government.

“The government is not only nervous, it is extremely nervous,” he said.

PPP MP Nafisa Shah said: “Arresting #ShireenMazari who has no allegation against her is unwarranted, wrong! Who ordered her arrest and why?”

PPP Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar also condemned the incident.

“Things never seem to change in the land of the pure. Shireen Mazari is my neighbor and a dear friend. Her arrest is the worst form of deplorable political oppression. People who have experienced it themselves and cried foul in the past, why would they be tempted or close their eyes?

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) wrote on Twitter: “The HRCP condemns the arrest and mistreatment of PTI leader @ShireenMazari1. Her arrest smacks of political victimization, which has unfortunately become an entrenched practice and deplorable, regardless of which party is responsible. . Dr. Mazari is entitled to due process and the incident must be investigated immediately.”

“No one should be arbitrarily arrested and assaulted. It’s shameful that a @ShireenMazari1 woman is beaten. There should be accountability, but corruption allegations should never be used to politically victimize “, wrote AGHS Legal Aid Cell on Twitter.

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