BAHAWALPUR: The Lahore High Court (LHC) Multan bench has ordered the district police of Multan, Layyah and Vehari not to harass the PTI candidates while granting protective bails to the party leaders along with their proposers and seconders.

Justice Sardar Muhammad Sarfraz Dogar gave the order on the writ petitions of a number of PTI candidates on Friday. He directed the returning officers (ROs) concerned also to desist from any illegal steps against the candidates and provide all of them with equal facilities to contest the election. The judge also ordered police not to raid the houses of PTI candidates and implicate them in false cases.

High Court Bar Association Multan President Rana Asif Saeed had filed writ petitions on behalf of petitioners Waheed Asghar, Dr Samina Dogar, Rana Aftab, Majid Niazi of Layyah and Ambar Niazi, Khizar Hayat, Sultan Bibi and Faisal Zaman of Mailsi.

Justice Dogar granted protective bail also to PTI Punjab deputy secretary general Muhammad Athar Maqbool, a candidate from PP-279 Layyah, and his proposer, Iftikhar, with an order to the Layyah police not to harass them.

Proposer, seconder of PTI candidate arrested in Bahawalpur as crackdown on PTI continues

The judge while granting protective bail to former MNA Shabbir Qureshi ordered the Kot Addu police to provide copies of all the cases registered against Mr Qureshi. He granted protective bail to Vehari’s Ijaz Bandesha, a PTI candidate from NA-173 and PP-232 (Vehari).

Meanwhile, the proposer and seconder of the PTI candidate and former minister Samiullah Chaudhry who filed his nomination papers for NA-168 (Bahawalpur city) were arrested as the law-enforcement agencies (LEAs) continued their crackdown on the PTI activists on Friday.

Samiullah’s proposer, Aftab Mubarak advocate, a former secretary general of Bahawalpur District Bar Association, and his seconder, Farooq Bashir advocate, were allegedly arrested during raids on their houses at night. Samiullah’s supporters alleged that the LEAs personnel conducted raids on the houses of other PTI activists, including Abid, Shair Khan, Chaudhry Javed, Zeeshan Aslam, Zahid Mayo, Fahim, Tariq, Shammas Din and Rizwan, to arrest them. The raiding teams allegedly harassed the women members of the activists’ families.

There are allegations that the PTI activists were harassed outside the offices of returning officers (ROs) in the district council, municipal corporation, Bahawalpur and AC City office and they were not allowed to enter the offices to attest the papers of their candidates. Some of the victims’ families released pictures of the alleged raids of police.

However, when Dawn contacted PRO Umar Saleem of DPO Syed Abbas Shah, he denied reports of the raids and arrests by police as usual.

Meanwhile, the additional district and sessions judge in Burewala suspended the arrest warrants issued by the judicial magistrate against PTI candidate Aisha Nazir and asked the police not to arrest her.

Besides, interim bails of PTI leaders, Aisha Nazir and Khalid Nisar Dogar, were confirmed in the riots case registered against them in Burewala on May 10.

PAPERS: The nomination papers of independent candidate Syed Tabish Alwari were accepted by the RO.

The scrutiny of the nomination papers of IPP’s chief Jahangir Tareen, candidate from NA-154 and PP-227 along with other candidates, including former MNA Nawab Amanullah Khan, retired Capt Izzat Javed, Hafiz Siddique Arian, Iffat Tahira Sumro advocate, was completed in Lodhran today.

Published in Dawn, December 30th, 2023

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