PTI activist ‘back home’ after eight days in captivity

Published April 1, 2023
KARACHI: PTI activists protest the arrests and disappearances of party leaders and workers at the Karachi Press Club, on Friday.—PPI
KARACHI: PTI activists protest the arrests and disappearances of party leaders and workers at the Karachi Press Club, on Friday.—PPI

LAHORE: PTI social media activist Azhar Mashwani returned home on Friday after remaining in captivity for eight days. Mr Mashwani went missing on March 23 while travelling to Zaman Park in a cab from his home.

The PTI social media activist took to Twitter to tell the people about his return after being released from captivity.

He tweeted that he had returned home safe and sound with the blessing of God.

“Your prayers, efforts, and support in these eight days have left us forever indebted,” Mr Mashwani tweeted.

He also prayed that all other PTI workers who have been arrested are released to have an Iftar with their loved ones.

The victim’s brother, Mr Mazhar, told Dawn on Friday that his brother had been released by security agencies.

Insaf Youth Wing holds protests against workers’ disappearances across the country

He said his brother was safe and sound. In reply to a question about who had kidnapped his brother, Mr Mazhar remained silent and said he did not want to name anyone as “everybody knows who can do that”.

He said he was thankful to all the people who had stood by them and had done efforts for the recovery of his brother. “My brother is sleeping to relax and he cannot talk right now.”

He also shared a picture of Mr Mashwani sitting with his brothers and other family members.

Mr Mashwani was picked up apparently on charges of criticising the Punjab police and the caretaker government for allegedly using high-handed tactics against party workers.

Responding to the call, PTI workers and supporters staged demonstrations in Karachi, Lahore and various other cities of the country to protest against the “enforced disappearance and abduction” of the party workers mainly associated with its social media activism demanding their early recovery.

The city police on March 25 (Saturday) registered a case against unidentified persons for kidnapping the PTI activist on the complaint of Mr Mashwani’s brother Mazharul Hassan.

On Thursday, the Lahore High Court had ordered the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to recover and produce Mr Mashwani in the court on April 3.

Justice Aalia Neelum had passed the order on a habeas corpus petition filed by Mr Mashwani’s brother.

The same day, PTI’s Insaf Youth Wing had called for a countrywide protest for immediate release of Mr Mashwani and his immediate production in the court.

PTI leader Musarrat Cheema welcomed the release of Mr Mashwani and thanked God for his safe return to home.

“I pray that no parent should undergo this situation that their son is forcefully kidnapped,” she tweeted.

Ms Cheema said they (PTI’s social media team members) were also working so that all other party workers were also released and reached their homes as soon as possible.

She said the PTI’s social media team would continue its protest against the alleged abduction of PTI workers and members.

“We will continue to protest for other SMT members who were illegally abducted a few days ago,” she said.

Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2023

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