LAHORE: PTI leaders Yasmin Rashid and Omar Sarfaraz Cheema, currently detained in various cases related to the May 9 violence, have been newly apprehended based on a fresh first information report regarding an assault on the Prime Minister’s House in Lahore.
During the period of the May 9 violence, PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif held the position of premier, and his residence in Model Town was referred to as the Prime Minister’s House.
Yasmin and Cheema appeared before an anti-terrorism court in Lahore today and were subsequently remanded to jail for 14 days.
The arrest of PTI Chairman Imran Khan on May 9 in the Al-Qadir Trust case triggered widespread violence, leading to attacks on significant military installations. Consequently, the state initiated a rigorous crackdown on his party.
Although the former premier was released a few days later (subsequently rearrested in the Toshakhana, cipher, and Al-Qadir Trust cases), numerous PTI members and most of the party’s top leadership were rounded up, with many still entangled in legal proceedings facing grave charges.
Earlier this month, the Punjab police initiated a new crackdown on PTI workers and activists, making multiple arrests across various regions of the country.
Prompted by a new list of 884 PTI workers marked as “new targets” distributed to all 84 police stations in the city, the investigation police took action. A majority of these individuals were identified as part of the PTI’s top leadership, including Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed, Mian Aslam Iqbal, Hassaan Niazi, Rashid, among others, an official informed Dawn.
Today, the police presented an additional statement in court, outlining fresh allegations against Yasmin and Cheema.
As per the document available to Dawn.com, the supervising officer of the Prime Minister’s House in Lahore alleged that on May 9, while performing duties, a group of PTI supporters, including Hammad Azhar, Jamshed Iqbal, Musarrat Iqbal, Yasmin, Cheema, and others, allegedly attacked the PM House.
The officer claimed that approximately 800-900 PTI supporters armed with clubs and stones attempted to breach the PM House gate, incited by party leaders delivering inflammatory speeches against state institutions.
“[…] They moved forward, vowing to retaliate for Imran Khan’s arrest,” the officer stated, mentioning that PTI workers also menaced the PM House staff and attempted to start a fire.
The statement listed charges under various sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, including terrorism charges, against the PTI leaders for offenses such as obstructing public servants, causing public nuisance, criminal intimidation, mischief by fire or explosive substances, rioting with deadly weapons, abetment, theft, and dacoity.