LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Thursday issued a notice to the capital city police officer (CCPO) on a habeas corpus petition filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) for the recovery of its four MPAs from the alleged illegal detention of the PML-N-led opposition.

PTI MPA Sibtain Khan filed the habeas corpus petition for the recovery of reserved seat MPAs Uzma Kardar, Ijaz Alam Augustine, Sajida Yousaf and Ayesha Chaudhry.

The petition alleged that a conspiracy on a foreign land was hatched against the elected government of Pakistan, and hand in glove with local collaborators no-confidence motions against the federal as well as Punjab governments were presented in the legislative houses.

It claimed the four PTI MPAs left the assembly premises to go to their residences, but were “kidnapped” by Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz. It said the whole episode was not only witnessed by their colleagues, but also the general public, and the matter was also reported in the electronic and print media.

Chohan tries to lure disgruntled lawmakers with positions, ‘respect’

The petition stated that it was an open secret that some of the detainees had been kept in illegal custody by the respondent (Hamza) in a hotel in Gulberg. It asked the court to order the CCPO to recover the alleged detainees (MPAs) and produce them before the court so they could be set at liberty.

The court sought a report from the CCPO for Friday (today).

Chohan lures dissidents

Meanwhile, Fayyazul Hassan Chohan, the spokesman for PTI-coalition candidate for chief ministership Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, on Thursday continued luring PTI’s dissident MPAs, saying they will not be able to get any benefit from the opposition, if it formed a government, under the law and must return to vote for their party candidate to gain respect and benefits.

Speaking to the media at the Governor House, Mr Chohan said the opposition parties, led by PML-N’s Hamza Shehbaz, were giving false hopes to the 24 PTI dissidents. Actually, he claimed, the Constitution’s Article 63A(1) would be invoked soon after the dissidents polled against the party line, as all legal and codal formalities had been completed.

“The Election Commission of Pakistan will take up the defection clause and be bound to decide about the dissidents’ disqualification within 30 days,” he said.

“The 24 PTI MPAs should return and vote for party candidate Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and they will be given speakership, deputy speakership and ministries as well as respect,” the spokesman stressed. He claimed many dissidents were in contact with the PTI and PML-Q as they were afraid of disqualification.

Mr Chohan further said he was aware of Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari’s meetings with Hamza Shehbaz on April 1, and his eventual April 5 order on a plain paper to call an assembly session on April 6 proved his partiality. “Dost Mazari is no longer impartial and the PTI as well as PML-Q has challenged the court order wherein he has been asked to hold the chief minister’s election.”

Answering a question about his claim of an altercation between Hamza Shehbaz and Aleem Khan, and its consequent denial, Mr Chohan replied that a senior anchor had told him about the incident, adding that an employee of the hotel where it allegedly took place had a video clip as proof.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2022

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