KARACHI: The PTI on Friday claimed that its social media activist Azhar Mashwani has been moved to Islamabad, a day after he was picked up in Lahore, Dawn.com reported.

PTI Senior Vice Presi­dent Fawad Chaudhry said Mr Mashwani had been shifted to the federal capital and that the party was tracing his location.

“We have been tracking Mashwani’s location,” the ex-information minister told Dawn.com. “He was at the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) office in Bed­ian. Then he was shifted to Islamabad”.

Mr Chaudhry said the party had tried to get an FIR against Mr Mashwani’s arrests — which he descr­ibed as abduction — but officials had refused to do so. “We tried registering it at the Green Town police station but they did not lodge a report.”

Mr Chaudhry added that a habeas corpus petition — to seek the release of a person from unlawful detention — had been filed in the Lahore High Court (LHC) for Mr Mashwani’s recovery. The registrar’s office had raised an objection but the case had been listed for hearing at the LHC Raw­alpindi bench on Monday (March 27), he added.

Mr Mashwani, who had been very vocal on social me­­dia, was picked up on Thu­­rsday, apparently on ch­a­rges of criticising the Punjab police and the caretaker government for alle­gedly using high-han­d­ed tactics against party workers. Separately, Mr Mash­wani’s wife has written a letter to the chief justice of Pakistan, urging him “to take appropriate action against the abduction” of her husband.

The letter, shared on PTI’s official Twitter acco­unt, said Mr Mashwani had been working as a focal person for the PTI chief. “Due to this responsibility, people in the incumbent federal and provincial government do not seem to be very pleased.”

Published in Dawn, March 25th, 2023

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