LAHORE: A day after the‘Jail Bharo Tehreek’ launched by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), the party on Thursday filed a habeas corpus petition before the Lahore High Court challenging the arrests of its nine senior leaders.

Senator Ejaz Chaudhry, the steering head of the ‘court-arrest movement’filed the petition alleging that the police illegally detained party leaders including vice chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, central secretary general Asad Umar, Senator Waleed Iqbal, former governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema, Senator Azam Swati, Murad Raas, Muhammad Khan Madni, Azam Khan Niazi and Ahsaan Dogar.

Family members of some of the arrested PTI leaders also filed separate habeas corpus petitions.

Senator Chaudhry alleged that the police in connivance and under instructions from the Punjab home department arrested the leaders and members of parliament of the PTI from the Charing Cross, The Mall, when the party launched its ‘Jail Bharo Tehreek’ for the supremacy of the Constitution.

He said the leaders after their arrest were taken to the camp jail first and then to the Central Jail, Kot Lakhpat, Lahore. He said the alleged detainees were not allowed to be provided with food and necessary medicine.

The senator alleged that the lives of the PTI detained leaders were at stake at the hands of the police and they would suffer an irreparable loss and injury if not recovered from the ‘illegal’ and ‘unlawful’ detention.

The petitioner asked the court to get the PTI leaders recovered from the police custody and set them at liberty.

Justice Chaudhry Shehram Sarwar will hear the petitions on Friday (today).

An anti-terrorism court on Thursday remanded PTI leader Ibadur Farooq in 14-day police custody in a case of attacking a police vehicle at Charing Cross during the court-arrest movement of the party.

The police produced the leader before the court and sought his 30-day physical remand saying a ‘stick’ in the attack was to be recovered from the suspect.

Farooq said he was a PhD degree holder and had no role in the alleged attack.

The court, however, granted the police 14-day physical remand of the suspect with a direction to produce him again on March 9.

MEESHA SHAFI: Singer Meesha Shafi on Thursday admitted posting a picture with actor-cum-singer Ali Zafar on her facebook account, which she earlier related to one of incidents of alleged sexual harassment, as the counsel of the latter resumed her remaining cross-examination through a video link.

Initially, Shafi expressed her inability to verify whether she shared the picture, referred to by Zafar’s counsel, on her facebook account with a caption “Tonight we party! Happy Birthday Ayesha Fazli.”

Ms Fazli is the wife of Zafar and the post had the date of March 6, 2016.

Later, Shafi admitted that the said picture was still available on her facebook account, however, she did not verify the caption of the picture in question.

Zafar’s counsel Umar Gill showed the court the facebook account of Shafi on a mobile phone.

“After scrolling and regarding uploaded pictures she confirmed that there are four pictures which can be seen publicly uploaded in her facebook account,” said the four-page cross-examination signed by Additional District & Sessions Judge Khan Mahmood.

After opening the picture in question, Shafi said she could confirm the caption of the picture after checking the record.

Shafi’s counsel raised an objection that the facebook account shown by the plaintiff’s counsel on his mobile phone cannot be verified whether it was genuine or not.

He said the defendant (Shafi) herself can verify the account.

Responding to other queries of the plaintiff’s counsel, Shafi said she could not remember the exact date as to when she told her husband about the second incident of the alleged harassment.

“I told my husband later after incident of sexual harassment but I do not remember either after first incident or the second I told my husband. I did not tell anyone about second incident for a long time,” she said.

To a query about summons issued to her in a criminal case by a magistrate, Shafi said she might have mistakenly stated in a media talk that she had not been summoned by the court before December 2021.

The cross examination would continue on March 1.

The Supreme Court had allowed a petition of Shafi to record her remaining cross-examination through a video link from Canada as she was unable to travel to Pakistan.

In his defamation suit, Zafar said the 2018 allegations of sexual harassment by Shafi tarnished his image in public and his family had been facing agony and pain. He asked the court to issue a decree against Shafi and direct her to pay Rs1bn as damages to him.

Published in Dawn, February 24th, 2023



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