Punjab police transfers Hassaan Niazi from Quetta to Lahore

Published March 26, 2023
PTI leader Barrister Hassaan Khan Niazi. — Photo by author
PTI leader Barrister Hassaan Khan Niazi. — Photo by author

The Punjab police on Sunday transferred PTI’s Hassaan Niazi, the nephew of ex-premier Imran Khan, from Quetta to Lahore in connection with a case registered against him at Lahore’s Racecourse police station.

The first information report (FIR), a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, was registered at the Racecourse police station on March 9 on the complaint of DSP Sabir Ali, who was injured in clashes with PTI workers near Imran’s residence.

The FIR was registered under Sections 109 (abetment), 147 (punishment for rioting). 149 (unlawful assembly), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 186 (stopping government employees from doing official duty), 302 (premeditated murder), 324 (attempted murder), 188 (disobedience of order duly promulgated by public servant), 427 (mischief causing damage to currency), 290 (public nuisance) and 291 (continuance of nuisance after injunction to discontinue) of the Pakistan Penal Code alongside Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

The death of PTI worker Ali Bilal, also known as Zille Shah, is also mentioned in the FIR filed against the PTI chief and other party leaders, including Niazi.

Niazi, who is the PTI’s focal person on legal affairs, was arrested on March 20 — in a case related to misbehaving with police officials — as he was leaving the Federal Judicial Complex (FJC) after securing pre-arrest bail in three other cases related to violence that took place on Feb 28 and March 18 when PTI chief Imran appeared at the complex.

On March 21, an Islamabad district and sessions court granted police two-day physical remand of Niazi. Upon the expiry of the initial remand, Niazi was then sent to jail on 14-day judicial remand.

However, Quetta police then registered a first information report against Niazi under sections 109 (abetment), 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 153 (inciting to riot) and 347 (wrongful restraint) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

On Friday, a sub-inspector from Quetta’s Airport police station filed an application before an Islamabad court seeking transitory remand of Niazi to produce him before a judge in Quetta, which was subsequently granted.

A day earlier, a judicial magistrate in Quetta rejected the police’s request seeking five-day physical remand of Niazi and granted interim bail to him in the case registered against him in Balochistan. A civil judge in Islamabad also granted post-arrest bail to the leader in the case pertaining to allegedly threatening police officials. Despite this, the PTI leader was not released from jail till late Saturday evening.

A judicial magistrate today approved one-day transit remand of Niazi and gave his custody to investigation officer Syed Adnan Bukhari of the Lahore police.

Earlier, the Balochistan Home Department had written a letter to IG Abdul Khalique Shaikh, IG Prisons, and the Superintendent of District Jail Quetta about the Punjab Home Department’s request to obtain the custody of Niazi, who was wanted by Lahore police in case number 388/23 registered at the Racecourse police station.

The Balochistan Home Department had also directed IG Shaikh to provide foolproof security to Niazi while being transported to Lahore.

Media talk

Speaking to the media outside the court, Niazi said PTI’s rally at Minar-i-Pakista Lahore the previous night was a “huge success”, adding that “getting arrested again after obtaining a bail was beyond his comprehension”.

He maintained that Imran was the “most popular leader” of the country, and expressed pride over being handcuffed. “My hands have jewels around them.”

“Lahore is my home and let’s see what happens now that Punjab police is taking me there,” Niazi added.

Meanwhile, Niazi’s lawyer, Advocate Syed Iqbal Shah condemned the treatment meted out to his client by the police. “This is an illegal, unconstitutional, and inhumane act.”

Advocate Shah said he was glad the court granted the transit remand, highlighting that the Punjab police had requested a two-day transit remand.

He confirmed that Niazi was to be transferred to Lahore by road by the Punjab police.


Additional input from Rana Bilal

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