PESHAWAR: Senior Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf lawyer Ali Zaman suffered minor injuries in a physical attack here on Saturday.

Mr Zaman, who is also a member of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council, alleged that former returning officer for the PK-73 constituency Sumaira Saba and her husband, Qadeer, had made an attempt on his life in Faqirabad area.

The police booked the couple under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act and sections 337-F, 337-A, 324, 392, 148 and 149 of the Pakistan Penal Code, and began investigation.

The PTI lawyer told police that his vehicle was struck by another car while en route to his home, and two additional vehicles pulled up nearby.

Police book former returning officer, her husband

He alleged that as he exited his car, Qadeer and Sumaira Saba approached him, with Qadeer assaulting him with a baseball bat.

The lawyer claimed that unidentified individuals joined in the attack, and Qadeer stole his mobile phone and car keys.

The PTI leader insisted that he contested the Feb 8 election and emerged as the winner but Saba and her husband “stole public mandate” for him.

He said he had been receiving death threats from the couple since the results of the Feb 8 election were declared.

Mr Zaman also said a case was registered against him at the Nasir Bagh police station but he obtained a pre-arrest bail from the court.

“During the hearing into my plea for pre-arrest bail, Qadeer threatened to kill him,” he said.

Meanwhile, PTI provincial additional general secretary Irfan Saleem claimed that Ali Zaman had received phone calls from Ms Saba’s husband following his speech at a political gathering after the Feb 8 election’s results were declared.

In a statement, he claimed that the PTI lawyer also received threatening calls from Afghanistan.

Mr Saleem said Zaman, who contested the Feb 8 polls, protested rigging and even moved an election tribunal against it.

He said the PTI didn’t want confrontation with anyone and advocated for the resolution of all issues in line with the law.

Chief Minister Ali Amin Khan Gandapur visited Lady Reading Hospital and inquired after Mr Zaman. He commended the assault on the party’s lawyer.

STRIKE ON MONDAY: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council condemned the attack on Ali Zaman and announced a strike across the province on June 10 (Monday).

KPBC vice-chairman Sadiq Ali Mohmand and chairman of its executive committee Syed Taimoor Ali Shah demanded of the provincial police chief to ensure an independent investigation into the incident and early arrest of the attackers.

While announcing a strike on Monday, the KPBC leaders said the lawyers would boycott proceedings in all courts of the province.

They demanded protection of lawyers.

Meanwhile, the Peshawar High Court Bar Association held an emergency meeting here and condemned the attack on Mr Zaman.

Association president Fida Gul chaired the meeting, which called for the early arrest of the attackers and exemplary punishment for them.

Association general secretary Alam Khan Adenzai and other cabinet members endorsed the strike call given by the KPBC and said lawyers would boycott courts across the province on Monday.

Also, an emergency meeting of the Peshawar bar Association was held under the chairmanship of president Amjad Ali Khan Marwat.

The participants demanded early arrest and punishment of the attackers under the Lawyers Protection and Welfare Act, 2023.

They urged the government to check the rising incidence of assaults against lawyers.

Published in Dawn, June 9th, 2024

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