PTI Senior Vice President (SVP) Sher Afzal Marwat on Friday accused the Dir police of attempting to “abduct” him near the Gulabad area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Lower Dir district.
“I managed to escape the attempt of Dir police to abduct me, with the heavy duty 300 policemen trying to abduct me, while I was entering Gulabaad near Chakdara [on] my way for tomorrow’s convention in Bajaur,” he said in a statement on social media platform X.
He added that PTI workers had blocked the road, making it possible for him to “escape the abduction”.
However, Lower Dir police spokesperson Hashmat Khan said Marwat was not arrested but only questioned at a police checkpost at Chakdara before being allowed to leave.
Earlier, the PTI claimed that Marwat was “kidnapped” from Chakdara while on his way to Bajaur for a party convention on Saturday.
“We demand his immediate release, these pressure tactics cannot and won’t work. Pre-poll rigging attempts must be immediately stopped,” the party had said.
A post from Marwat’s social media team subsequently said he was “shifted to a safe place” and would definitely address the Bajaur convention.
Marwat was appointed as a party SVP last month. He was a member of the PTI for a long time, but he came to the limelight only after the former ruling party found itself in crisis following the events of May 9, which forced the party’s key leadership to either to part ways with party chief Imran Khan, or go underground to avoid the heat. This provided an opportunity for lower-tier leaders of the party to rise within the ranks and take up key positions.
He also became close to Imran after representing the PTI chief in most of the cases against him.
Marwat represented the PTI chief in the Toshakhana case, where the court convicted the former premier for three years. His proximity to the PTI chairman only grew when he launched a tirade against trial court judge Humayun Dilawar during the proceedings of the Toshakhana trial, and he was subsequently inducted into the PTI core committee.
On Thursday, the Peshawar High Court had ordered the KP government not to arrest Marwat until further orders in four cases recently registered against him after he attended his party’s conventions in the province.
In October, a case was registered against Marwat in Dera Ismail Khan, on allegations of instigating the public against state institutions through social media. The case revolved around a video Marwat posted to his YouTube channel, where he purportedly tried to incite the public against state institutions to create chaos.
Additional reporting by Murad Ali Khan.