Javed Hashmi arrested

Published October 30, 2003

ISLAMABAD, Oct 29: Police on Wednesday night arrested president of the Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy Makhdoom Javed Hashmi from his Parliament Lodges apartment on charges of abetting mutiny.

Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat, while confirming the ARD president’s arrest, said he was detained under Article 131 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

The interior minister, who was in Lahore, said that he could not provide details of Mr Hashmi’s arrest, adding that the district administration would issue a press note in this regard. But no press note was issued till the filing of this report.

Sources said the ARD president was picked up at about 12:30am in a raid conducted by the Islamabad police. During the raid, the sources said, commandos and personnel of the Elite Force surrounded the Parliament Lodges and took away Mr Hashmi to the secretariat police station.

Meanwhile, PML-N’s information secretary Siddiqul Farooq, in a press statement, maintained that Mr Hashmi was arrested by the ISI.

Mr Farooq said the ARD president was arrested on his way out of the Parliament Lodges in his car with his driver Abdul Ghafoor.

Earlier, talking to newsmen at an Iftar-dinner at his apartment, Mr Hashmi had already expressed fears regarding his arrest on charges of “high treason.”

Mr Hashmi had said that he had received information from “credible sources” that a case had been prepared against him for distributing a letter that, he alleged, had been written by someone from the GHQ.

Mr Hashmi said that a case had been prepared against him under clauses 124-A, 131, 468, 71 and 500 of the PPC. He said the government was not sure as to which law to apply against him. “Finally, they found a 150-year-old law under which several freedom movement activists were tried in 1914 ...,” he added.

Mr Hashmi, while referring to the alleged letter, said it was not one letter but he had been receiving many similar letters for the past many months. He also showed copy of a letter to newsmen and read out some extracts from it.

Earlier, the ISPR and information minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had described the alleged letter as being a fake.

Mr Hashmi said he was ready to go to jail and had already packed up his luggage. He said he would not “bow before a military dictator.”

He said he was not against the army as an institution but against those who had made the army “controversial”.

An FIR has been registered against Mr Javed Hashmir in the secretariat police station.

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