An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Islamabad granted a two-day physical remand of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) President Chaudhry Parvez Elahi on Wednesday, in connection with a case related to an attack on the Judicial Complex in Islamabad.
The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) police took him into custody following the ATC’s announcement of the reserved verdict.
During today’s proceedings at the ATC, Elahi’s lawyer, Ali Bukhari, raised concerns about the absence of any mention of interrogation in the police’s request for physical remand. He questioned, “What did the investigating officer do in the last 24 hours? The police appear to lack substantial grounds for investigation. The court must assess if there is a genuine need for a probe against Parvez Elahi.”
Bukhari further argued that he had previously represented former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the same case, and Qureshi’s bail had been confirmed. He emphasized, “There is no need for an identification parade, as the entire country is aware of Parvez Elahi’s identity.”
The prosecutor argued that Islamabad police required Elahi’s cooperation in a case filed back in March. The prosecutor stated, “Evidence needs to be collected, and the informant has alleged Parvez Elahi’s involvement in the attack on the judicial complex.” Hence, the physical remand of the PTI president was deemed necessary.
In response to Elahi’s arrest, his counsel filed a contempt of court petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
A day earlier, Elahi had been taken into custody by the CTD shortly after being released by the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) police in compliance with the IHC’s order. The IHC had suspended Elahi’s detention under 3-MPO (Maintenance of Public Order) and instructed the Islamabad police to release him.
Elahi had previously been rearrested under 3-MPO by the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Police after the Lahore High Court (LHC) declared his detention by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) “illegal” on August 1.
The PTI president was arrested by the anti-terrorism division of the Islamabad police in connection with the attack on the Judicial Complex in the federal capital that occurred on March 18. An FIR had been registered at the CTD police station, including charges of terrorism.
A spokesperson for the Islamabad police clarified that Elahi had been arrested in a CTD case number 3/23 and was categorized as an “unknown person.” Elahi’s release had been carried out in accordance with the IHC’s orders, as per the spokesperson.
In a separate development, the Lahore High Court (LHC) issued a contempt of court notice to Islamabad’s chief commissioner earlier today, expressing dissatisfaction with the failure to comply with the high court’s order to present Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) President Chaudhry Parvez Elahi before the court.
During the contempt hearing, various officials, including City Police Officer (CPO) Rawalpindi Syed Khalid Hamdani, Superintendent District Jail Attock Arif Shahzad, District Police Officer (DPO) Attock Sardar Ghayas Gul Khan, and other officials, were present. Additionally, Punjab Government’s Additional Advocate General Ghulam Sarwar Nihang and Islamabad’s Advocate General were also in attendance.
Expressing disappointment over the non-compliance with the court’s orders, LHC Justice Mirza Viqas Rauf questioned how the court’s directives could be disregarded. Elahi’s lawyer pointed out that the court’s orders had not been implemented, prompting the court to emphasize that this was a separate issue.
The LHC noted that despite the court’s order, Islamabad police had arrested the former Punjab chief minister and transferred him to Attock Jail. The court inquired about the advocate general’s stance on the court order, which was crystal clear, and yet Elahi had been arrested and relocated.
In response, the advocate general stated that Parvez Elahi was being kept in Police Lines for security reasons, making it challenging to bring him to court. The LHC questioned why there was no difficulty in taking him from the court, adding that presenting Parvez Elahi before the court should not be a matter of anyone’s ego.
Consequently, the LHC issued a contempt of court notice to the Islamabad chief commissioner, with a directive for a response to be submitted within seven days.