Parvez Elahi, the President of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), found himself back in the spotlight as he was presented before a Lahore district court for the second time in two days. The case revolves around allegations of illegal recruitments in the Punjab Assembly. This article delves into the details of the arrest and the ongoing legal proceedings, shedding light on the impact it has on the political landscape.
Arrest and Allegations
Parvez Elahi, the former Chief Minister of Punjab, was escorted to court by officials of the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) under tight security. The ACE spokesperson revealed that the case involves the recruitment of 12 Grade-17 officers in the Punjab Assembly, allegedly bypassing merit-based selection criteria. It is claimed that Elahi manipulated the results of candidates from Gujrat and Mandi Bahauddin to secure these appointments. In connection with the case, Secretary Punjab Assembly Rai Mumtaz Hussain has also been arrested.
Elahi’s Defiance and Support for PTI
Prior to the court hearing, Parvez Elahi addressed the media, declaring that even if “they register 100 cases [against me], it would not make a difference.” He urged PTI members and supporters to courageously fight against the authorities’ tactics, assuring them of his unwavering support. When asked if he still stands with the PTI, Elahi unequivocally affirmed his commitment.
Legal Battle and Lawyer’s Determination
Despite facing threats, Rana Intizar, Elahi’s lawyer, vowed to persist in representing the PTI president. He condemned what he perceived as interference by the interim government in the court proceedings, emphasizing his unwavering dedication to his profession.
Crackdown on PTI Leadership
Parvez Elahi is just one of several PTI leaders and workers who have been arrested in the aftermath of the May 9 riots, triggered by protests following the Rangers’ actions against party chief Imran Khan at the Islamabad High Court premises. Alongside Elahi, prominent PTI figures such as Shah Mahmoud Qureshi, Ali Muhammad Khan, Yasmin Rashid, and Mehmoodur Rasheed are currently in custody.
Arrests and Discharges
Elahi’s recent encounters with the law have been marked by arrests and subsequent discharges. Initially, ACE officials apprehended him outside his residence on June 1, but the court dismissed the charges against him, deeming them unfounded. However, shortly after his discharge, anti-corruption officials arrested him once again, this time in relation to two cases registered in Gujranwala. These cases accused Elahi of causing a loss of Rs100 million to the national exchequer and receiving kickbacks during his tenure as Punjab Chief Executive.
Subsequently, Elahi appeared before Judicial Magistrate Mohammad Afzal’s court in Gujranwala on Saturday. Following arguments presented by the ACE and Elahi’s legal team, the court acquitted the PTI president in both cases, ordering his immediate release if he was not implicated in any other ongoing proceedings.