• Poll office of incarcerated Aaliya Hamza ‘sealed’
• Party-affiliated lawyer, his father ‘abducted’
• Houses of Javed Hashmi, Qaisara Elahi ‘raided’

LAHORE/GUJRAT: The Punjab police on Monday continued raiding the PTI election offices, as well as houses of the party leaders and supporters, besides allegedly harassing women workers.

The PTI alleged that police, as well as some masked men, sealed the election office of its incarcerated NA-118 nominee Aaliya Hamza and PP-148 aspirant Saba Dewan.

A PTI spokesman alleged that the police and unknown masked men harassed women workers sitting in the party’s election office in NA-118 and warned them that police would not be responsible for their security if they campaigned against PML-N leader Hamza Shehbaz.

“Will the Election Commission of Pakistan take notice of this fascism?” the spokesman asked and added that the nation would take revenge and defeat the “mafia” with the power of their vote on Feb 8.

He said law enforcement personnel abducted a high court lawyer, Khalid Ranjha, and his 70-year-old ailing father by breaking the door of their house in Sargodha on Sunday night.

The raiding officials ransacked the furniture, broke the doors and vandalised the house, he said, adding that the lawyer’s only crime was campaigning for PTI-affiliated candidate Usama Mela in NA-83.

In Gujrat, PTI nominee for NA-64 Chaudhary Qaisara Elahi, wife of party president Parvez Elahi, and her sister Sameera Elahi, also a party candidate from PP-34, have accused the police of raiding the Zahoor Elahi House on Sunday night.

Speaking at a news conference on Monday, they said the police broke into a portion of the house and asked the servants to produce the documents of nominations of polling agents as well as the list of polling agents.

However, after failing to get such documents, the police took away a servant, as well as a computer, laptop, and voter lists from a room, they alleged.

They said the police had entered the house on a truck and damaged the doors and furniture of the house, whereas some staff members of Shafay Hussain, the scion of PML-Q chief Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain, were also present there to guide the police during the raid.

Sameera Elahi Chohan, the youngest daughter of Zahoor Elahi, said she and her sister Qaisara Elahi had visited the city’s main commercial hub Muslim Bazaar on Sunday where traders accorded them a rousing reception and in reaction police conducted the raid late in the night.

She blamed the police for pressurising the PTI supporters, particularly former elected representatives of local bodies, not to organise the election meetings of PML-Q candidates. “Let me tell our rivals that they could not get votes in Gujrat by adopting such tactics.”

She alleged that people were not being allowed to meet Qaisara Elahi even at her house. “Such tactics cannot stop the victory of PTI candidates in Gujrat.”

In Multan, veteran politician Javed Hashmi said police had raided his house in Makhdoom Rasheed area and picked up his son-in-law, grandson and a servant. His son-in-law Shahid Bahar Hashmi is a PTI-backed candidate.

Published in Dawn, February 6th, 2024

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