KARACHI: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Friday said that its Karachi chapter president and former MNA Akram Cheema had gone missing since Thursday night, fearing he might have been picked up by law enforcement agencies.
A statement issued by the party said that Mr Cheema, along with PTI’s Shah Faisal Town’s president Abdi Jillani, went missing on Thursday night after attending an important meeting regarding the June 15 election for Karachi mayor.
It said he was busy finalising arrangements for next week’s election in which the party had announced its unconditional support for the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) candidate. “We fear they have been forcibly disappeared,” said a spokesman for the PTI-Karachi.
Mr Cheema has recently been appointed city president by PTI chairman Imran Khan after Aftab Siddiqi, the former president, quit the party following May 9 riots.
JI suspects foul play
On the other hand, the JI termed Mr Cheema’s “disappearance” a “fascist move” by the Sindh government of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) only to install its candidate as Karachi mayor.
“Mr Cheema was actively involved in making arrangements for the release of arrested workers and members of the city councils of the PTI,” tweeted JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman. “The PPP government has arrested him only to bring its mayor through fake and illegal majority.”
Hafiz Naeem, the JI-PTI candidate for Karachi mayor, demanded immediate release of Mr Cheema and his colleague.
Meanwhile, police authorities remained tight-lipped over any such development.
A senior Karachi police officer refused to offer any comment on this particular subject, while another showed his unawareness.
Published in Dawn, June 10th, 2023