PTI President Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi was arrested outside his residence in Lahore on Thursday in connection with a corruption case.
Television footage showed Elahi being forcefully taken away on a road during the arrest, which came after multiple futile raids at his house.
Confirming his arrest, Punjab caretaker Information Minister Amir Mir told Geo News that the former provincial chief executive was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Establishment with the help of police.
He also clarified that Elahi had not been arrested under the Maintenance of Public Order — as has been the case with several other PTI members and leaders arrested on allegations of their involvement in vandalism on May 9 amid protests sparked by party chief Imran Khan’s arrest.
“His (Elahi’s) bail was dismissed in [a corruption] case,” he said. “He was wanted and has been arrested while trying to escape.”
Separately, the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE), Punjab said in a statement that PTI President Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi was “wanted” in multiple cases and his bail was dismissed by an anti-corruption court a few days ago.
The ACE claimed the PTI leader had submitted his “fake medical certificates” to the court secure bail.
The statement did not specify in which case Elahi has been arrested.
Dawn.com has approached authorities to confirm in which graft case Elahi has been arrested.
Mir told DawnNewsTV that Elahi’s residence had been “cordoned off” for the past several days as part of the strategy to arrest him.
“He left his house in a car today, along with another car in which some women were travelling. We already had the information that he would try to leave [today],” Mir said, adding that Elahi’s car was intercepted by authorities who said they wanted to check the vehicle.
“But they refused and upon resistance, police tried to break that glass on the driver’s side [as the car was bulletproof],” Mir added.
He said Elahi came out of the car after authorities tried to break the glass.
Elahi’s spokesperson Iqbal Chaudhry alleged that authorities “misbehaved” with women accompanying Elahi during the arrest.
According to Mir, Elahi will now be presented in court and his legal team will be allowed access to him after that.
Meanwhile, his son Moonis Elahi, shortly after the arrest, asserted that his father would stay with the PTI.
“A series of crackdowns began in January and at that time, my father told me that even if he is arrested, we must stand” with the party chief, he tweeted. “Three days ago, my parents reiterated the same thing.”
“Now it is being said that my father has been arrested in false cases,” he said, adding: “We are with PTI and will remain with the party.”
Separately, PTI leader Farrukh Habib dubbed Elahi’s arrest “an act of revenge”.
PTI leader Babar Awan also condemned the arrest, claiming that Elahi was “intercepted while he was with his family and harassed before the arrest”.
This, he tweeted, proved that there were no constitutional rights or legal protection in the country.
“Pervaiz Elahi’s arrest is condemnable and I hope that courts will serve him justice,” he added.
Elahi’s is the latest arrest after the state’s crackdown on PTI leadership following the May 9 riots.
Currently, Shah Mahmoud Qureshi, Ali Muhammad Khan, Yasmin Rashid, Mehmoodur Rasheed and others from the PTI are also under arrest.