LAHORE: A sessions court on Tuesday granted interim pre-arrest bail to nine MPAs of the PTI and PML-Q in a case of attacking Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari and ransacking the Punjab Assembly during the last week’s session held to elect a new chief minister.

Qila Gujjar Singh police registered a case against several MPAs belonging to the previous coalition government in Punjab.

MPAs including Ammar Yasir, Shahbaz Ahmad, Mahindar Singh, Waris Aziz, Khayal Ahmad Kastro, Shujaat Nawaz, Ali Raza Khan Khakwani, Umar Farooq and Malik Nadeem Abbas appeared before the court.

Advocate Amir Saeed Rawn represented the MPAs and asked the court to grant pre-arrest bail to them.

Deputy Speaker Mazari refuses to go on leave as advised by Speaker Elahi

He said the petitioners were not involved in any attack, nor did they ransack the assembly. He said the police registered a “politically motivated case” against the lawmakers.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Yasin Mohal allowed the bail petitions till April 29.

The judge also summoned police records for the next hearing.

Meanwhile, Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Mazari has refused to go on leave as per the advice of Speaker Parvez Elahi.

“Speaker Chaudhry Parvez Elahi had asked me to go on leave [before the election to the chief minister’s office]. But I declined because I am not his [Elahi’s] personal servant and was not bound to follow his instructions blindly,” Mr Mazari told a TV channel here on Tuesday. He said that he would never oblige if asked by Mr Elahi to do any unlawful act.

He alleged that Mr Elahi and the PTI created a constitutional crisis in the province because some forces desired to derail the system and make the democracy project a failure.

He regretted that he was being labeled a dissident by his party (PTI) only because he followed the Constitution and the law of the land.

He lamented that the assembly officials he had suspended for dereliction of duty, ‘illegally’ compiled a false report about the mayhem during the election proceedings and presented it to the Punjab governor.

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2022

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