ISLAMABAD: PTI Sec­retary General and Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Omar Ayub on Sunday evaded arrest in a raid on his residence in Sector F-10 by a joint team of Islamabad and Mianwali police after warrants for his arrest were issued by an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Sargodha.

Mianwali police, in a handout, claimed that their assistant sub-inspector (ASI) had only gone to the residence to serve the bailable warrants, not to arrest the opposition leader.

The PTI leader, who went into hiding after the raid, lashed out at the authorities for being so “desperate” to apprehend him. “Bailable arrest warrants were issued for me by ATC Sargodha, but Mianwali police and Islamabad police teams came to my Islamabad house to arrest me a few minutes ago,” he said in a social media post.

“The federal government, Punjab government, and agencies must be very desperate to arrest the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly,” the PTI leader wrote on X, adding that their struggle would continue till Imran Khan came back to power.

Speaking to Dawn, PTI spokesperson Raoof Hasan said that Mr Ayub’s home was raided by the Mianwali and Islamabad police personnel.

“Some of the policemen were in uniform while some were in plainclothes… fortunately the PTI secretary general was not at home,” he said, adding that Omar Ayub was at a safe place. Mr Hasan also said that the police had not sought prior permission from the National Assembly speaker to conduct the raid for the arrest of the lawmaker.

According to the PTI spokesperson, the raid was conducted in connection with a terrorism case. The ATC Sargodha had issued warrants for his arrest. It may be noted that last month, Mr Ayub had tendered his resignation from his secretary general post but it was rejected by the party and he continues to serve in the top party role.

Khurshid Anwar Khan in Mianwali contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, July 8th, 2024

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